Local press has picked up on BT’s vision for the future of its Adastral Park research and development facility in Suffolk which could create more than 1,000 new jobs.
Suffolk and Essex Online report that BT’s proposals for the Martlesham Heath site, near Ipswich, include redevelopment and refurbishment to meet its own future needs, the creation of a Suffolk Innovation Park to attract other hi-tech companies, new facilities for collaboration with universities and around 2,000 new homes.
Adastral Park, to which BT – then part of the Post Office – moved its research and development (R&D) centre in 1969, already extends to around 100 acres but the company also owns some 250 acres of additional land to the south and east, much of which has bee used for quarrying aggregates.
BT’s new vision document, drawn up by consultants David Lock Associates, involves developing large areas of this land – perhaps working in partnership with other adjoining landowners – and landscaping a substantial area in the middle of the site for sport and leisure use.
The multi-million-pound proposal, which would push the value of Adastral Park to the local economy to more than £1billion a year, also involves a hotel, a renewable energy plant (burning biomass) and community facilities including a new primary school and a health centre.
Phil Dance, BT’s senior manager at Adastral Park, said: “This is one of the largest R&D facilities in the UK and almost certainly the largest telecoms research site in Europe. We want to maintain that position, and use that position to catalyse further development in Suffolk.
“The park has a world-renowned reputation and a history of setting standards in new technology but if we are going to maintain this, we need to build the best facilities to retain, attract and stimulate the best brains in the business.
“Our vision sets out our hopes for what can be achieved here, with the right backing and support. What we are doing now is sharing this vision and inviting people to help us to get it right.”