This month saw the end of the build stage for a major government supported programme to develop international research and technology organisation TWI’s existing site at Abington Hall, Granta Park, to accommodate its growth in business.
Just sixteen months after work commenced, SDC Construction Group has handed over the final building in the suite of three new purpose-built research and development laboratories for TWI at Granta Park, Cambridge. The building, pictured right, includes a base for the company's training operations and the headquarters of TWI ’s professional arm The Welding Institute.
The £60 million site build has been enabled through UK Regional Growth Funding and with the backing of South Cambridgeshire District Council. The new facilities have been equipped with state-of-the-art machinery through support from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
A key feature of the project has been the National Structural Integrity Research Centre, a hub for postgraduate education integrated within TWI, which will welcome over 530 students in the next ten years, involving them in industry relevant project work. TWI currently carries out around 750 R&D and innovation projects each year to benefit its international base of Industrial Member companies.
Department moves from older buildings on the site are well underway, filling the new areas with equipment, people and activity along ‘the street’ – a spacious walkway connecting with the existing TWI main building (est. 2003). Work continues to restore the immediate parkland around Abington Hall, putting environmental impact first, and on completing a sunken car park for visitors and staff. All landscaping will be completed by midsummer and TWI will host an official opening in the autumn.
Recognising the contributions of UK government bodies and leading members of South Cambridgeshire District Council, Chief Executive Christoph Wiesner thanked the design and build teams and those that have played a key role in the inception and realisation of the project, including commercial property entrepreneur Ian Laing, along with Eric Parry Architects, AECOM, SDC Construction Group, and Glanville Engineering Consultants. Dr Wiesner also acknowledged the work of key members of the TWI team including Finance Director Gillian Leech, Build Programme Manager Colin Walters and his colleagues Chris Roach and Rajesh Patel.
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