Red Loft Leads Successful Grant Bid for New Office Development

Property and regeneration consultancy Red Loft has led a successful bid for Braintree District Council, for a £7 million grant from the ‘Get Building Fund’. The funding will contribute to the development of an innovative Enterprise Centre, the latest building at the Council’s Horizon 120 business and innovation park in Great Notley, on the outskirts of Braintree. Previously, Red Loft’s expert team led an accelerated process of design development for the Council, successfully securing Council approval to a new capital budget, achieving a RIBA Stage 3 design freeze, and preparing and issuing the construction tender pack within just three months.

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Detailed planning permission has also now been confirmed via the acclaimed Horizon 120 Local Development Order, which was adopted in April 2020 having been crafted by a multi-disciplinary team, including Councillors, led by Red Loft associates. The LDO incorporates a Design Code based upon exemplar architectural and environmental standards and has now been shortlisted for the 2021 RTPI national awards.

Red Loft has supported the Horizon 120 project since 2018, managing land acquisition and development, and this successful grant application is the latest in a long series of successes for the partnership , which encompasses overseeing the development of £57 million of commercial developments, part of a long-term strategic investment programme by the council for the area.

Other major infrastructure works for the Horizon 120 Park included enabling the delivery of Europe’s first fully electric car charging forecourt, which opened in December 2020. A major milestone for the site, the electric forecourt charges up to 36 cars at a time with 100% renewable energy and delivers 350KW of charging power – enough to add 200 miles of driving range in 20 minutes. The station uses clean energy sourced from one of the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farms, overhead solar canopies, and a battery capable of storing enough energy to drive 24,000 miles.

The delivery of the new Enterprise Centre, will be a significant provision for local businesses. Once complete it will comprise of a state-of-the-art co-working environment, a range of serviced offices and an equipped maker-space, plus meeting rooms, board rooms and event spaces. Construction started on the Enterprise Centre in April 2021.

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Neil Jervis, partner at Red Loft, comments: “We are pleased to be continuing our long-standing partnership with Braintree District Council. Having worked on the Horizon 120 site since 2018, originally project managing land acquisition of the 26 hectare site, we are continuing to add value for BDC in 2021, with our teams able to provide an accelerated programme for the client – applying for, and successfully achieving, the £7 million grant in only three months. A major landmark for the site, the Enterprise Centre will be a valuable asset for Braintree; creating significant new employment opportunities for residents, and providing crucial support for local small businesses.”

Dominic Collins, Corporate Director of Growth at Braintree District Council, said: “We would like to thank Red Loft for the market experience and project and programme management expertise they have brought to our projects, and in particular to Horizon 120.  They have played a central role in supporting our ambitious growth agenda and in helping us unlock a key strategic employment site.  This has helped us to attract new businesses and quality jobs into the district and we look forward to continuing that work as we consider our future investment and growth strategies.”