Derby’s £12m iHub innovation centre, which is the flagship building on Infinity Park, has been named best commercial project at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2017, East Midlands.
The building, which is part of the Connect Derby portfolio of managed workspaces, triumphed in the ‘Commercial’ category at this year’s RICS awards dinner, which took place at The Athena in Leicester.
To win the award, the iHub beat off fierce competition from other high profiles schemes across the region and was recognised as an outstanding commercial property development which provides bespoke, high-quality working environments and acts as a catalyst for growth.
The iHub was also shortlisted in the ‘Regeneration’ category, which showcases exceptional improvements to urban, rural or coastal areas.
Widely regarded as the premier property and construction awards in the country, the RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment across eight categories.
The iHub will now go forward to the RICS Awards Grand Final in November 2017, which is taking place at The Intercontinental in London, where it will compete against the other regional winners for the title of National Commercial Project of the Year and the overall Project of the Year.
The 45,000ft2 iHub provides high quality, flexible workspace for start-ups, early stage businesses and high growth SME’s looking to expand their role within the transport engineering and hi-tech sectors.
As well as 18 traditional office workspaces, the iHub provides 14 ground floor workshops for businesses seeking a more hybrid working environment.
It also features the innovative ‘iLab’, which promotes invention by enabling the rapid prototyping of a range of products and services, thanks to high end virtual reality, 3D printing and surface microscope equipment.
The building also offers a multi-purpose ‘heart space’ area, available for hosting external conferences and events, along with meeting and seminar rooms.
Will Evans FRICS, chairman of the RICS Awards 2017 judging panel, said:
“This most impressive commercial development offers a unique opportunity for aspiring businesses to locate to offices and/or workshops in a manufacturing focused innovation technology park.
“What amazed our judges the most was the way the development encapsulates within its physical characteristics the spirit of transport engineering with its curvilinear features. It really is a beacon of success and a catalyst for growth.”
Commenting on winning the award, Ann Bhatti, Connect Derby manager, said:
“For the iHub to be recognised as the best commercial project in the East Midlands across the retail, office, leisure, industrial and mixed use sectors is a massive achievement and we’re all absolutely thrilled.
“The iHub is much more than just an innovative design though – the building boasts hi-specification office and workshop accommodation, along with state-of-the-art equipment and business support services, which ensure that it leads the way in the region.
“We look forward to seeing the iHub battle it out on the national stage later in the year,” added Ann.
The iHub, which has Enterprise Zone status, is based on Infinity Park, the new 100 acre manufacturing focused commercial and technology site, located between Sinfin and Chellaston, to the south of the city.
Earlier this year, the iHub was highly commended by Derby Civic Society in the New Build category at the 2017 George Larkin Brighter City of Derby Awards, which recognises restoration and building projects that have improved the environment of the city.
The development has received funding from the Regional Growth Fund and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as well as Derby City Council and the University of Derby.