Enterprise Zone in St Albans Local Plan launched

Hertfordshire IQ partners from Rothamsted Research, Hertfordshire LEP, BRE Group, St Albans district

Hertfordshire IQ partners from Rothamsted Research, Hertfordshire LEP, BRE Group, St Albans district council, Dacorum Borough Council, Herts county council and the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: George Day DMLK Video Dreamlock - Credit: Archant

A agritech and modern construction business zone across the St Albans and Hemel Hempstead border has just been launched.

The Hertfordshire Enterprise Zone, coined Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter (IQ), will form the commercial part of the Hemel Garden Communities development in Hemel Hempstead and also features in the St Albans Local Plan.

Creating 8,000 jobs, it is a three million sqft site straddling the Dacorum Borough Council border and three proposed settlements in Redbourn - North Hemel Hempstead, and East Hemel Hempstead (north) and (south).

Hertfordshire IQ is partnered with BRE Group, Rothamsted Research, and the University of Hertfordshire. It has been given a £680,000 investment from the Local Growth Fund.

Herts county council leader and chairman of the Hertfordshire Growth Board, Cllr David Williams, said: “Our vision is for Hertfordshire to be made up of economically, socially and environmentally sustainable communities, where people choose to live and work – and long-term initiatives like Hertfordshire IQ will be important in achieving this.”

He said 770,000 sqm of employment space in Hertfordshire has been lost over the last decade.

Built over the next ten years, Hertfordshire IQ will house a flexible mix of spaces such as offices, coworking areas, research labs, and warehouses.

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Leader of St Albans district council (SADC), Cllr Alec Campbell, said: “Our objective is to turn this area into the UK’s centre for companies involved in innovative construction, agricultural research and environmental technology.

“Over the next ten years, Hertfordshire IQ is expected to attract dozens of green industry businesses and provide thousands of high-quality jobs to the benefit of our local economy and community. This continues to be a priority project for the council underpinning our economic development strategy and creating sustainable communities.”

Along with tax breaks and collaboration opportunities, businesses in Hertfordshire IQ will benefit from guidance on funding through the Hertfordshire Growth Hub.

Chair of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Mark Bretton, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We’re thinking about what we might need in the future – for transport, workplaces, blue and green infrastructure - and most importantly people and the local community.”