Dundee ‘business incubator’ plan

Thursday 23rd February 2012
Artist’s impression of the new development courtesy of Aim architects. Below: Already in existence is James Barr NFA of speculative class 4 office space split between two wings, over four storeys. The solid east wing is finished with the regulated and vibrant red terracotta rainscreen, gable end facing the city centre. The west wing is a collection of obtuse angles facing out into the media park site, clad in industrial composite panels. Bridging the wings is a five storey circulation-core as a Digital Media Park billboard. Construction, undertaken over a 12 month build period with contract value of £2.5m. Since completion over 80% of the office space has been successfully let.

Plans for new flexible office space in Dundee built from shipping containers, for launching computer games and creative start-up companies, are welcomed by the University of Abertay. ‘District 10’ is a proposed development in Seabraes Yard, using virtually new shipping containers to build attractive, low-cost buildings premises designed specifically for establishing new businesses in a community environment with flexible rental agreements.

The plans received planning approval earlier this week. First phase project will have 18 workspaces in one building, with the potential for a further eight buildings to be constructed later.
Paul Durrant, director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: “The planning approval for this project is a great step forward, and we look forward to Scottish Enterprise bringing this fantastic vision to life.
“The computer games and creative industries are very exciting, and small teams can now successfully launch iPhone or Facebook games, build social networking apps, create animated viral adverts, and design products. The opportunities are endless.
“But the big challenge is finding the space to develop a business, without the huge financial commitment of a long-term property lease. District 10 would really help more start-up companies to grow in Dundee.
“It would also build on initiatives like the Abertay Prototype Fund, where small companies receive an initial £25,000 investment and temporary working space in the university. Having flexible office space for the companies we fund to graduate into would be a very exciting next step for Dundee.”
The building would have communal meeting rooms, break-out areas, showers and toilets.

Abertay University, Dundee College and NESTA have all backed the proposals, which form part of the wider plans for the Dundee Waterfront redevelopment .

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