Neath Port Talbot Council’s Bay Technology Centre, sited on one of Wales’s premier business parks in the heart of South Wales, is on schedule to be completed in December of this year.
The £7.9m three-storey office and laboratory space, located at the M4-side Baglan Energy Park in Port Talbot, will host different size units for start-up companies, indigenous businesses and inward investors looking for a base to set up and grow their operations.
The centre, being built by contractors Morgan Sindall Construction, will offer 2,500 square metres of mixed use space for flexible office and laboratory work as well as a reception area and spectacular atrium on the first floor.
Innovative design and use of materials, including specialist photovoltaic panels made to look like cladding, will provide a sustainable building which is energy positive. The design also means the ‘thermal mass’ of exposed precast floor slabs can store and transfer heat from the building providing a cost effective heating solution.
Outside will be a new car park for staff and office users, as well as a cycle shed to encourage use of environmentally friendly transport methods. Landscaping will also be carried out to install a mix of grass and wildflowers to the site. Following ecological assessment, construction has been timed to avoid disrupting local wildlife and ensure the site’s biodiversity is protected.
The initiative has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Welsh Government and UK Government through the recently approved £58.7m Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth Programme, part of the £1.8bn Swansea Bay City Deal regional investment project.
Neath Port Talbot has an increasing number of ongoing developments being progressed supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth, including SPECIFIC, (an innovation and knowledge centre), the Hydrogen Research Centre, The Flexible Integrated Energy Systems Project (FLEXIS) and the TWI Technology Centre (Wales).
The area has strong links with and access to academia (at HE and FE level), with a number of established innovation research centres with national and international links, specialising in hydrogen, energy systems, life sciences and manufacturing; covering a range of areas from composites, propulsion, material engineering, training and skills, metallurgy and coatings, and, state of the art non-destructive testing (NDT) methods with cutting-edge inspection technologies.
The Bay Technology Centre comprises:
- Fibre Connectivity.
- Ample car parking.
- Easy access to M4, road, air, sea and rail networks.
- High-specification security access system.
- Access to on-site conference facilities, meetings rooms and break-out areas.
- NPT Council economic development support, for networking, growth and investment.
- Innovative ecosystem with collaborative space.
- Energy positive design.
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development, Cllr Annette Wingrave, said:
“We are close to completing a state-of-the-art, hybrid building the design of which ties in perfectly with the council’s Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy (DARE) Strategy for a cleaner, greener future for everyone.
“We look forward to working closely with start-ups, indigenous businesses, inward investors and others looking to move into the Bay Technology Centre.”