A proposal to develop a new technology park just south of Cambridge promises lettable employment space and adjacent agricultural land suitable for businesses specialising in agritech innovation.
The developer is SmithsonHill, a joint venture between Russell Smith Farms and Hill Commercial Investment. The ARC project would occupy a 553 acre piece of land near Duxford to the south of the A505 and bounded by the A11. The prospectus envisions a business park accommodating up to 4,000 employees in a parkland environment that brings together “existing and entrepreneurial companies from across the AgriTech, science and technology sectors in a centre of excellence which will put the UK at the forefront of global agricultural innovation and productivity”.
The proposal has been submitted for planning permission. Subject to approval, construction could start in 2019 with the first units available for occupation in 2022.
“Cambridge has firmly established itself as one of Europe’s leading destinations for technology and bioscience, but despite the regions strength in these sectors, the UK AgriTech industry has been woefully undersupplied until now,” says managing director of SmithsonHill Emma Fletcher. “Our world-leading AgriTech park will fuse farming with science and technology, providing unmatched flexible space including laboratories, workshops, office accommodation and incubator units, as well as adjacent land critical for crop and technology trials.
“Our ultimate aim is to develop a unique environment in which businesses can thrive, and where we will develop and deliver ground-breaking innovations to assist crop production and yield, minimising both input and cost and reducing global food waste.”