Scotland’s publicly-backed innovation centre for the construction sector is set to create a new facility in Lanarkshire in a bid to increase collaboration across the industry.
The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) said the site, at Hamilton International Technology Park, will deliver 30,000 square feet of workshop space housing state-of-the-art equipment, including a five-tonne overhead gantry crane. The equipment will allow construction businesses of all sizes to prototype and develop new products and processes, from early-stage ideas through to full commercialisation.
CSIC’s site will also include a “construction incubator” where start-ups and small-scale firms can collaborate with industry, academic and public sector partners.
Chief executive Stephen Good said: “Our delivery team are extremely busy getting everything ready to launch this resource to industry in the summer. It will provide a dynamic environment, away from the conventional building site, where the Scottish construction industry can innovate, take risks, explore and learn, safe in the knowledge that the activity here is protected from the perceived risks of innovating on live construction sites.”
Good said that, since CSIC launched in 2014, it has helped 42 projects get off the ground, “and we hope that having this new facility at their disposal will inspire even more people within the construction industry to get innovating”.
The refurbishment and fit-out of the site begins this month and is being carried out by East Kilbride-based principal contractor AKP Scotland. Completion is targeted for spring, with the facility set to formally open its doors to industry in the summer.
Martin Rowley, joint managing director of AKP, said: “We look forward to working with Anderson Bell Christie, Armour, Currie & Brown and Scott Bennett in completing this project for CSIC.
“Having completed tenant and landlord works within this building a number of years ago, we have acquired knowledge of the building layout and an in-depth understanding of the services and existing mechanical and electrical services, which we feel will prove invaluable to the delivery of the project.”
CSIC’s move to Hamilton International Technology Park was brokered by Knight Frank, acting on behalf of Conygar Investment Company. The innovation centre will occupy a total of 34,866 square feet in the recently refurbished Watt Place as part of a ten-year lease.
Sarah Addis, senior surveyor at Knight Frank, said: “CSIC’s move to Watt Place highlights the level of demand in the market for modern, well-located industrial units. The property delivers the ideal combination of high-quality warehouse and office facilities, which in today’s market is difficult to find.
“The innovation centre will join companies such as ScottishPower, Babcock, First Direct and First Engineering at Watt Place, demonstrating that businesses are looking to areas outside of Glasgow’s core to meet their needs. The University of the West of Scotland has also announced the development of a state-of-the-art campus at the complex, bringing further investment to the area.”