Derby’s iHub innovation centre shortlisted for two prestigious awards

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Derby’s £12m iHub innovation centre, the centre-piece of Infinity Park, has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards.

The building, which is part of the Connect Derby portfolio of managed workspaces, has been nominated in both the ‘Regeneration’ and ‘Commercial’ categories at this year’s RICS Awards 2017, East Midlands.

Widely regarded as the premier property and constructions awards in the country, the RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment across eight categories.

The iHub, which has exceeded 50% occupancy since its launch last Autumn, has been shortlisted in the ‘Commercial’ category, which honours an outstanding commercial property development across the retail, office, leisure, industrial or mixed use sectors – and the ‘Regeneration’ category, which showcases exceptional improvements to urban, rural or coastal areas.

In order to win the two awards, the iHub will have to beat off competition from other high profile schemes in the region, including the University of Nottingham’s Ingenuity Centre, the London Road Fire Station in Nottingham, the Pick and Shovel in Leicester, The Portland Collection in Nottingham and the University of Derby St Helena Campus in Chesterfield.

The winners of the eight individual categories and overall Project of the Year 2017 will be announced at an awards dinner taking place on Friday 28 April at The Athena in Leicester, hosted by TV presenter Angellica Bell.

Commenting on the nomination, Councillor Martin Rawson, deputy leader of Derby City Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the Economy, said:

“For the iHub to receive nominations in two categories at this year’s awards is a tremendous achievement and testament to the vision shown by the regeneration team at Derby City Council to create a scheme, that features an innovative design, meet its occupiers needs and represents value for money.

“The iHub aims to build on the city’s reputation for creating cutting-edge ideas, particularly in the aerospace, automotive and transport industries, and reinforces the city’s reputation as the UK ‘capital for innovation.”

Ann Bhatti, Connect Derby manager, added:

“Being nominated for two prestigious awards is another example of the hugely positive reaction that the iHub has received since it joined the Connect Derby portfolio of buildings last Spring.

“The iHub because boasts hi-specification office and workshop accommodation, along with state-of-the-art equipment and business support services and we’re proud to say that it can rival any similar scheme in the UK.”

The 45,000 sq ft facility provides high quality, flexible workspace for start-ups, early stage businesses and high growth SME’s looking to expand their role within the transport engineering and hi-tech sectors.

The iHub, which has Enterprise Zone status, is based on Infinity Park, the new 100 acre manufacturing focused commercial and technology site, located between Sinfin and Chellaston, to the south of the city.

As well as 18 traditional office workspaces, the iHub provides 14 ground floor workshops for businesses seeking a more hybrid working environment.

The iHub also features the innovative ‘iLab’, which promotes invention by enabling the rapid prototyping of a range of products and services, thanks to high end virtual reality, 3D printing and surface microscope equipment.

The building also offers a multi-purpose ‘heart space’ area, available for hosting external conferences and events, along with meeting and seminar rooms.

Earlier this year, the iHub was highly commended by Derby Civic Society in the New Build category at the 2017 George Larkin Brighter City of Derby Awards, which recognises restoration and building projects that have improved the environment of the city.

The development has received funding from the Regional Growth Fund and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as well as Derby City Council and the University of Derby.