Work to create cutting edge support facilities for local SMEs at Lincoln’s Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) has now started on site.
Delivered by construction company Robert Woodhead Ltd. and architects LK2, the £4 million project will see the university’s 750m² Grade II listed St Hugh’s building transformed to create the Lincolnshire Open Research and Innovation Centre (LORIC). The building will also become home to BGU’s Business Inspiration scheme.
The refurbishment works will include restoration of original features, such as internal doors, windows, fire places and decorative balustrades. The finished building will also achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’ with the addition of secondary glazing, additional thermal insulation and the use of an infra-red panel heating system which will reduce running costs as well as energy consumption.
Andy Newman, associate at LK2 said:
“We are delighted to be working with BGU again on another exciting project.
“We’ve worked alongside the university to refurbish the building to provide a space that best fits the needs of these projects, while also paying respect to the history of the building.
“As a Lincoln-based company, we’re proud to be involved in this project, which will provide vital support services to help local small businesses thrive.”
Juliet Slater, team leader for the Lincoln team at Robert Woodhead said:
“We were thrilled when we found out that we would be contributing £1.8m worth of work to this project in Lincoln.
“The building has some beautiful original features that will be sympathetically restored during the refurbishment and we are looking forward to working with BGU again so soon.”
The LORIC will provide support to businesses, public and third-sector organisations across Greater Lincolnshire by enabling connections with data specialists and researchers to bring new insights for businesses.
The Business Inspiration project at the LORIC will also promote innovation and growth in small and medium sized businesses in Greater Lincolnshire with tailored support and grants towards specialist consultancy, graduate internship and first time attendance at trade fairs and exhibitions.
Stephen Deville, chief operating officer at BGU said:
“The renovation and conversion of this significant building within close proximity to the main university campus is a welcome addition to BGU’s asset portfolio.
“The building’s location is ideal as it allows the project to operate externally in its aims to link and support partners outside of BGU, while also being close enough to campus to integrate activities with those of the wider university.”
The projects were awarded over £2.6 million in funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds to help with the works.
Both Robert Woodhead and LK2 have previously worked on a number of projects for BGU, including a 7,770 sq ft extension to the university’s Constance Stewart Hall, which was completed earlier this year.