Autumn 2017 will see Dorset Innovation Park, the revamp of the former atomic energy site in Winfrith, South Dorset, opening up to house companies in the energy, marine and defence sectors, creating around 2,000 jobs. Work on 20 employment units at the new ‘engineering excellence’ business park has begun, with completion scheduled in October. This is the first step in the £2.5m redevelopment of the site, formerly known as the Dorset Green Technology Park, and marks the first new-build at the 56-hectare employment land site for more than 20 years.
Having obtained Enterprise Zone status in 2016, the Dorset Innovation Park is hailed by the Dorset LEP as “one of South West England’s greatest opportunity sites for science park style development”. The scheme is a public sector redevelopment, the result of a joint partnership between the LEP, Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Council. Dorset LEP sees the Innovation Park as a major economic boost for Dorset which can create a ‘new cluster of excellence’ in advanced engineering for the South West.
Two companies that are active in the defence technology industry are already present at the site: QinetiQ and Atlas Elektronik UK. The new development, called the Quadrant, will see more businesses move in to the two terraces of fully-serviced units, which enjoy superfast broadband and for new business can deliver up to five years of business rate reductions. Situated just west of Wool, the business park is to be supported by large-scale housing projects which can house employees looking to be locally based, which are currently coming forward through the Purbeck Local Plan.