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Harpenden business hub expanding by 60 per cent to meet demand

PUBLISHED: 10:42 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 26 February 2019

The new Rothamsted Agritech Business Centre will expand by 60 per cent this April. Picture: Submitted by Rothamsted Enterprises

The new Rothamsted Agritech Business Centre will expand by 60 per cent this April. Picture: Submitted by Rothamsted Enterprises

Archant

A Harpenden business hub will expand by 60 per cent this year to meet increasing demand.

Executive director of Rothamsted Enterprises, Nicole Sadd. Picture: Jeremy Banks PhotographyExecutive director of Rothamsted Enterprises, Nicole Sadd. Picture: Jeremy Banks Photography

The Rothamsted Agritech Business Centre will grow from 22,305 sq ft to 35,395 sq ft from April in order to accommodate more companies at the headquarters.

It will be run by the newly named Rothamsted Enterprises, formerly known as Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise (RoCRE), which also looks after the Conference Centre, Restaurant, and Manor House venue at the world-famous lab Rothamsted Research.

Although there are already 21 businesses at the hub, Rothamsted Research say increased demand is driving this expansion.

Executive director of Rothamsted Enterprises, Nicole Sadd, said it was an exciting time: “We’ve reached a real critical mass now and that’s attracting business from all over the world. The hub is thriving, and both the companies on-site and the institute’s [Rothamsted Research] scientists are benefiting from being able to share ideas, knowledge and facilities.

“It certainly helps being attached to perhaps the best-known agricultural research centre in the world. When you include our on-site conferencing facilities, our transport links, and our proximity to London, it has made us attractive for anyone looking to start up a business in this sector.”

Companies at Rothamsted range from small start-ups to established international agribusiness such as Gowan Crop Protection and Timac Agro.

The agri-tech innovation industry is worth over £14 billion in the UK.

Nicole added: “Being able to bring world leading researchers together with exciting visionaries and disrupters is crucial for the UK’s innovation sector.

“Add in a number of investors, and Rothamsted really is at the centre of this new ‘food web’.”

Several existing tenants have already forged links with scientists based at Rothamsted Research.

CEO of Babwe Barton Enterprises, Christopher Barton, said: “Our technology recovers pollutants, converting them into other useful chemicals, and energy, which is turned into electricity.

“We’ve also been working with some Rothamsted scientists, testing the particulates that are captured and establishing whether they are usable for commercially viable products such as fertiliser.”

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