Willmott Dixon has been appointed to deliver the £9.1m Broadland Food Innovation Centre, a joint partnership between Broadland District Council and the New Anglia LEP. The new centre will be at the heart of the Food Enterprise Park outside Norwich and supports the growth of local food and drink firms in the area.  

Procured using the Scape framework, the project comprises of two linked buildings, which will house 13 individual units fitted out to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) food hygiene grade. The design incorporates a landscaped ‘green street’ at the centre of the two buildings with a ring road for tenants to access their units. A focal Hub area will be used to bridge the production and office spaces, providing a shared area for tenants to use the test kitchen and sensory tasting spaces for product development.  

Sustainability is at the heart of the design, with the buildings being designed to the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ environmental standard.  Using an array of Photovoltaic (PVs) panels, the building will harness the sun’s energy for electricity generation.

Chris Tredget, managing director at Willmott Dixon for the northern Homes Counties and east region, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to deliver the Food Innovation Centre, which will provide fantastic facilities to the local thriving food and drink industry. Once completed, the centre will be a great addition to the local area with top class facilities to help local businesses expand and grow. We’re very much looking forward to starting on site.” 

Broadland District Council portfolio holder Jo Copplestone said: “This is a really exciting time for our district. The Food Innovation Centre will give us the opportunity help new and existing businesses, nurture new ideas and enable us to process more of Norfolk’s agricultural output locally, minimising food miles and helping the environment.” 

Mark Robinson, SCAPE group chief executive, said: “With an increased importance on buying local, investment in commercial facilities that support our food and drink manufacturers – many of whom are SMEs, is vital for them to develop and keep pace with demand. Placing sustainability at the heart of the centre’s design, through the inclusion of green spaces and the use of solar power for example, is ensuring that we do this in a way that also reduces carbon emissions and makes better use of natural capital.”   The project marks Willmott Dixon’s latest contribution to the UK food and drink industry.  In 2021 the company handed over the cutting edge ‘Centre of Excellence’ to the University of Lincoln.  The £7m investment is at the forefront of agri-food research and development, creating jobs and encouraging inward investment