Centre of Excellence – Holbeach

The Centre of Excellence in Agri-food Technology will be the linchpin of the FEZ, delivering innovation support services, pioneering research, skills provision and knowledge exchange for agri-food businesses across Lincolnshire and beyond.

The Centre of Excellence will be the first building on the FEZ and is due for completion in Spring 2021.

The Centre of Excellence is funded by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLEPP), the Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. It builds on the previous investment made by the GLLEP, South Holland District Council and funding partners in establishing FEZ Holbeach – also known as Peppermint Park.

Building on the success of the University of Lincoln’s Holbeach campus, home to the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), the Centre of Excellence will be an innovation hub – promoting the rapid uptake of advanced technologies such as robotics and automation and ensuring the UK’s agri-food industry remains competitive, able to overcome challenges facing the supply chain from farm to fork.

Image of a building against a blue sky

With internal space of 1360 square metres, the new facility will include microbiology and chemistry laboratories, a high-tech test kitchen and sensory suite, a learning resource centre, and seminar space. It is designed to house a community of leading industrial scientists and their support teams, working to meet the innovation, research and knowledge transfer needs of Greater Lincolnshire’s agri-food businesses, notably small and medium-sized enterprises.

The new facilities will be readily accessible to other businesses located across the Food Enterprise Zone and the wider GLLEP area, strengthening the county’s position as a key player in the agri-tech sector.

 

Project Updates

Works have now increased on finishing trades and builders clean for all spaces. Lab furniture installation has been completed and final works to the Food Development Lab are underway along with white good installation. Carpet is being installed to ground floor spaces and access control installation has commenced. Externally, landscaping is underway with the continuation of paving installation and soil shift around the site. Construction has continued well over the last few weeks with the builders clean complete to Level 1 and snagging of spaces due to commence from the 1st of February 2021. Externally, tarmac has been laid and the temporary site cabins have been removed to allow the soft landscaping to commence. Due to a delay in the gas meter installation, the scheme is looking at a potential 2 week delay to the completion date as commissioning has been stalled. 

Works have progress well over the last 3 weeks where externally, block paving is nearing completion and bases for the cycle shelter and bin store have been laid. Internally, laboratory furniture has progressed well with all materials being delivered to site and carpet installation has commenced tot he ground floor areas, including the seminar rooms and offices. After Christmas, key focus will be on finishing trades and commencement of testing and commissioning of building systems.

Works progress with focus on internal fit out and progression on the 2nd fix mechanical and electrical installation. On the roof, all fume cupboard flues have been installed along with completion of works to the photovoltaic panel installation. Internally, laboratory furniture installation has commenced with the Test Kitchen furniture being delivered first. Plastering and ceiling grid continues throughout the building. Works to install the lift are ongoing.

External works have continued well over the last two weeks with the completion of installation of the main insulated cladding panels, completion of brickwork installation to the lower level and commencement of the render substructure installation. Glazing and curtain walling has now been installed. Internally, works to install partitions continue with the majority of rooms having been formed and plasterboarding being installed.

External works have continued well over the last two weeks with the completion of installation of the main insulated cladding panels, completion of brickwork installation to the lower level and commencement of the render substructure installation. Glazing and curtain walling has now been installed. Internally, works to install partitions continue with the majority of rooms having been formed and plasterboarding being installed.

Works continue on the Centre of Excellence with the cladding progressing well externally along with the brickwork installation. Internally, screed has been laid to all levels and internal partition work has commenced on the first floor. Air conditioning units have been delivered to site and will be lifted into position on the roof over the next two weeks. The additional welfare required to manage social distancing is being configured into place ahead of the increase in operatives on site from September.

Construction has progressed well with the installation of the concrete flooring planks, completion of the steel frame installation, completion of the groundworks to the balancing pond in front of the building and continuation of fire spraying to the steelwork. The concrete flooring works are now complete and the commencement of the steel framing system and cementitious board installation. Works have commenced on the roof with the sealant layer and the casting of the plinths for the plant located on the roof. 

Works have progress well over the last period as the steel frame has been completed, installation of the concrete flooring has commenced along with the fire spraying to the steelwork. Willmott Dixon have been adapting site working practices to suit the updated guidance from the Government and the Construction Leadership Council on social distancing. Over the coming weeks, work will continue to the complete the concrete flooring installation along with commencement of the steel framing system to the exterior of the building.

On Monday 16th March 2020, a groundbreaking event was held to mark the start of construction for the Centre of Excellence in Agri-Food in Holbeach. The project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, commenced construction and groundworks in January 2020 and is due for completion in early 2021.

Image of a logo of a blue EU flag with gold stars in a circle on it

Project Status:

In progress

Start Date: August 2019

Projected End: Spring 2021

Project team:

Shradha Mishra
Project Manager
01522 83 7033
smishra@lincoln.ac.uk