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Press Release

News and Media - Interserve

Interserve to deliver £7 million business innovation centre for Social Enterprise Charity

by Interserve Press Office | May 21, 2013

Future-Business-CentreInterserve, the international support services and construction group, has been appointed by Allia, the UK Social Enterprise Charity, to design and build a £7 million business innovation centre in Cambridge that has a remit to grow businesses that benefit the community and the environment.

Over a two-year period Interserve has worked closely with the charity, funding a planning application and providing financial expertise to enable it to develop and deliver the project.

The Future Business Centre, run by Allia, will be an enterprise hub that demonstrates the possibilities of combining good business practice with a philanthropic approach. It will support start-up and early stage social and commercial businesses, developing products that result in social or environmental benefits. Work has started on the site and the opening is planned for the end of 2013.

The contract showcases Interserve's continuing expertise in planning, creating and managing complex developments across the UK and overseas and underlines its approach to encouraging sustainable growth.

Commenting on the project, Andrew Howard, Associate Director of Interserve said:

"We are delighted to be appointed by Allia to deliver its vision for this important business innovation centre. We share the organisation's desire to grow businesses that benefit the community and the environment.

"We have worked closely with Allia over two years, funding a planning application and providing a loan facility to enable the charity to develop and deliver the project. The unique design, to match the expectations of changing occupiers and the requirements of funders, now has full planning consent, and building has commenced.

"We look forward to continuing the excellent working relationship we have established with Allia to deliver this important project. Through this scheme we will strengthen our established links with Cambridge and create employment opportunities for the local supply chain to benefit from the project."

The Future Business Centre will provide 35,000 square feet of affordable mixed office and workshop units and open-plan hot-desk space for individuals or organisations wanting to start up or to expand a social or environmental business.

Key features will be:

  • Easy-in, easy-out terms
  • On-site business support
  • Co-location with other like-minded organisations
  • Networking facilitated by the design of the building
  • Shared back-office services and equipment.

Commenting on behalf of Allia, Tim Jones, Chief Executive Officer, said:

"The Future Business Centre is the culmination of a long-held dream to create such a facility for Cambridge, and we are very pleased to be working with Interserve on its construction. We see the Centre very much as adding to the incubation capacity for the area, particularly targeting social and environmental businesses."

Interserve, ARM Holdings, TTP Group, Abcam, European Regional Development Fund and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Partnership have all played a major role in supporting Allia to develop the new centre, which is expected to enhance further the region's nurture of social enterprise. The build will be managed by Interserve's Cambridge office, supported by Saunders Boston Architects and 5th Studio Architects, Bidwells Structural Engineering and MLM Mechanical & Electrical Engineering.

The new centre building is expected to be completed October 2013 and will open the door to new businesses before the end of next year.

– Ends –

For further information please contact:

Nigel Charlesworth
Head of Corporate Communications
0118 960 2332/07964 900 861

Karen Lewis
Edson Evers PR
01785 255146

Tim Jones
Allia and Future Business
0845 456 2432

About Interserve

Interserve's vision is to redefine the future for people and places. It is one of the world's foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally, offering advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management services. Interserve is based in the UK and is listed in the FTSE 250 index. The Group employees some 50,000 people worldwide and in 2012 generated gross revenue of £2.3 billion.

About Allia

Allia is a charitable organisation that creates opportunities for people to invest their money for social benefit. Allia creates opportunities to connect investors with social organisations that need finance. The organisation works with a wide range of charities, investors, intermediaries and partners in the public and private sector.

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