Construction of Symmetry Park, Bicester’s new supply chain and logistics hub, formally began today with a ground-breaking ceremony attended by local school students and members of the business community.
To mark the commencement of construction work, students from the Bicester Technology Studio School joined Bicester Vision and db symmetry to celebrate spades going in the ground at this landmark development. db symmetry was granted planning permission in November last year and will complete the first two phases of the development, totalling 198,000 sq ft, by the end of this year.
One of these buildings has already been sold, with national furniture designer, manufacturer and supplier, Bentley Designs Ltd, set to take an 88,000 sq ft unit as it re-locates from West London. The firm has chosen Bicester as the ideal location for its company headquarters and the move will see a number of high skilled roles in design and engineering brought to the area.
A further unit of 110,000 sq ft is to be developed speculatively showing confidence in the regional logistics market and the strengths of this site. Once completed, the full development is expected to create in the region of 800-900 additional jobs.
db symmetry is committed to creating partnerships to promote growth in the local economies in which its developments are based and has signed a joint ‘Vision Statement’ with the Bicester Technology Studio. This would see db symmetry establish an educational and work experience partnership with the school, which specialises in providing students aged 14-18 with opportunities for vocational training in engineering and business, with a focus on the logistics sector, alongside mainstream academic study.
Collaborative initiatives will include giving students tours of the symmetry park site at various stages of construction and providing them with specialist presentations to aid their studies. After completion, db symmetry will encourage its suppliers and occupiers of the site to partner with the school and provide apprenticeship opportunities.
Speaking about the partnership, Richard Taylor, Principal of the Bicester Technology Studio, said: “A close working relationship with db symmetry is hugely beneficial to the school and with our vocational focus, we are always keen to forge new links with local employers. Opportunities for work experience and apprenticeships are immensely valuable to our students, providing the hands on experience they need to get straight into work when they leave us.”
“We are incredibly excited that work is now getting started on this development and we can’t wait to watch the progress unfold. By signing a Joint Vision statement with db symmetry, we are committing to ensuring that the Bicester Technology Studio will be at the forefront of using the Symmetry Park development as a platform for training the workforce of the future and equipping our young people with the range of skills they require to succeed in a career in logistics.”
Graeme Laws of Bicester Vision, an independent public/private partnership working to improve the town’s offering as a business destination, with whom db symmetry is also partnered, said:
“This state of the art development will provide much-needed, high-quality industrial floor space in Bicester to allow companies in a range of sectors, including advanced manufacturing, product development, storage, distribution, supply chain management and logistics, to grow in Bicester or relocate to the town. The core aim for Bicester Vision is to ensure that the town has a vibrant business community and we will welcome those businesses that choose to relocate here. It is also important for Bicester that ample jobs are created to support the new residential developments that are underway. We see the potential of 800 plus jobs being created by this development to be critical in meeting the needs of our growing community. We welcome the partnership with db symmetry and look forward to working with the company to make symmetry park a success over the coming years.”
Tom Leeming, Associate Development Director at db symmetry, said:“This is an exciting milestone for the delivery of Symmetry Park, Bicester. Of the 198,000 sq ft development, 88,000 sq ft has been pre-sold to a national furniture company. This occupier will bring a number of high skilled roles to the area across design, manufacturing and engineering. Furthermore, 20% of the space occupied by this firm will be dedicated office space, bringing employment opportunities across a range of roles, such as in management, design and product development. This is just one example of how Symmetry Park can bring high-skilled jobs to the area, dispelling the myth that developments aimed at the logistics industry only create low paid, low-skill roles.”
“Once completed, this development will bring hundreds of new jobs to the area, many of which will be high-skilled and high paid, across a range of disciplines and sectors. The growth in local employment opportunities, coupled with the wider economic benefits for Bicester, is why we see such broad support for the new Symmetry Park from local educational institutions and the business community. We are extremely encouraged by the level of occupier demand in the Town.”