Today marks 20 years since MEPC’s purchase of Birchwood Technology Park in 1998. Since then, the park (now owned by Warrington Borough Council) has almost tripled in size, providing 1.1million sq ft of office and warehouse space. A total of 33 new buildings have been developed – most recently a 70,000 sq ft mixed-use industrial development at Cavendish Avenue.
Over 165 businesses and 6,000 employees now call Birchwood Park home, ranging from startups and SMEs to global corporates. The park is also one of the key sites in the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone and is nationally recognised as the UK’s hub for the Nuclear Services industry. High profile firms include Rolls-Royce Nuclear, Sellafield, Wood Plc (formerly Amec Foster Wheeler) and Atkins.
In the last 18 months, the park has been bolstered by a raft of lettings to international businesses, including Ricoh, Müller, TATA and Dr Schär.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary, the park has created a series of special events over the coming months, commencing today with the opening of ‘The Woodshed’ café located at the award-winning Bridgewater Place development. The grab-and-go service will offer Starbucks coffee and artisan street food, as well as traditional sandwiches. The new offering is the park’s latest investment in onsite amenities and has been introduced in response to occupier demand.
Martin O’Rourke, commercial director at Birchwood Park, commented: “Since the park’s inception it has been driven by our ethos that businesses should expect more from their workplace – be that through excellent amenities, transport connections or a real community feel. It’s this ethos that has seen us repeatedly invest in creating a vibrant business environment to rival any location in the North West, and it’s this which has continued to prove a real draw for occupiers.”
Existing amenities onsite include conference, meeting and event space at The Centre, a fully equipped gym, a purpose-built nursery, and a number of restaurant and drink outlets across the park.
Martin continued: “Looking ahead, we have over 800,000 sq ft of development space with outlined planning consent on the park and we expect to continue our growth so we can accommodate even more businesses in the years to come. Wellbeing will continue to be a leading focus for us – we firmly believe that happier staff are more productive and will be doing all we can to facilitate the best working environment for our occupiers.”