Willmott Dixon has been chosen to deliver a new £8m business centre and innovation hub for East Riding of Yorkshire Council that will offer flexible office and workshop space for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the Goole 36 Enterprise Zone.

The Rail, accelerator and innovation solutions hub for Enterprise (RaisE), will provide 3,200 square metres of commercial floor space made up of grade-A office and workshop accommodation, much-needed high quality conferencing facilities, and a welcoming communal café hub that will act as a focal point for the business park.

Procured using the YORbuild2 framework, this phase one of RaisE is being delivered with East Riding Infrastructure & Facilities and is set for completion in early 2022. The project has secured £1.5m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £1m from the Getting Building Fund, via the Hull and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (HEY LEP), to help finance the project.

Phase two is also on the same site and will see a £50m centre of excellence for rail and research and innovation developed between Siemens Mobility and the University of Birmingham.

In conjunction with the £200m Siemens Mobility manufacturing facility which is currently under construction, this partnership between industry, academia and the public sector will help create a ‘Rail Village’ concept that will attract further added value activity from the wider supply chain.

Paul Bell, head of economic development and communications at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The council is absolutely delighted to see building work on this business centre and innovation hub start. We know that, once completed, it will stand proudly alongside Siemens Mobility’s soon-to-be-built, state-of-the-art rail manufacturing facility, and will be another glowing example of how Goole is viewed as a flourishing economic area for investment and growth.

“We also welcome our partnership with Siemens Mobility and The University of Birmingham who, along with industry partners such as The UK Rail Research & Innovation Network (UKRRIN) and The Rail Alliance, are excited by Goole’s potential and our shared ‘Rail Village’ vision.”

Sambit Banerjee, managing director, rolling stock and customer services, for Siemens Mobility Limited, said: “Our aim at Goole is to create a centre of excellence for the rail industry and to generate long-term skills and investment in the region, and the start of construction of RaisE is a real milestone in that journey. As part of the ‘Rail Village’, RaisE will be a great space for collaboration and it is fantastic to see it being supported by a network of partners from the UK rail industry and higher education – with a key focus on providing research and development support, particularly for start-ups and SMEs.

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We’re proud to play our part in delivering such an important and exciting project, which will support and enable the Goole 36 Enterprise Zone to become a hub for the region’s SME businesses to thrive.

“Supporting our communities in these times of uncertainty is more important than ever, delivering RaisE will allow us to work with regional supply chain partners, creating employment opportunities for local young people, former members of our armed forces and ex-offenders as well as empowering local causes and organisations that directly impact the lives of those in need.”

RaisE is the latest in Willmott Dixon’s portfolio to support innovation in the rail sector.  In February the business handed over the £47m School of Engineering to the University of Birmingham.  Completed in partnership with the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN), the building unites existing academic and industry capabilities to innovate and support transformational change within the rail technology sector, globally.

The company is also very active in the Humberside region, supporting local business and generating prosperity within the community.  In Melton, close to Hull, Willmott Dixon is currently delivering the £20m Humberside Police Control Centre which will be a state-of-the-art control centre and operational support building.

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