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Our exciting new Harlow extension project

Our exciting new Harlow extension project
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Our exciting new Harlow extension project
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

On 24th October 2023, we submitted a planning application to expand Greenway Business Centre , which has now been registered by Harlow Council. We are excited to be able to share our future plans with you. We spoke to Brad Critcher, Director of Technical Services, about our plans to expand our popular Greenway Business Centre by acquiring an acre of adjoining land.

Why we are expanding Greenway Business Centre

In 2014, Greenway’s then centre manager, Lorraine Lee, said of the business park, which was celebrating its 10th birthday: “In 2004, we opened this centre with our wellies and hard hats on. […] This centre is a real ‘home from home’”. Nearly ten years later, Lorraine is now our Chief Executive and our Harlow centre continues to play a vital role in helping new and growing businesses take the first step by providing flexible business space for the Harlow area.

Brad Critcher, Director of Technical Services, states: “We noticed the growing demand for workshops and studios in Harlow among small and growing businesses, such that we always have a long waiting list for this sort of space. The site next door provides an ideal opportunity for us to expand the number of units we have available.  We want to be able to see a new generation of SMEs nurtured into the best businesses they can be.”

Comprising an unused part of the wider Timberland Fishery, the site has been neglected for many years and has become derelict and unsightly, despite having been removed from the Green Belt some years ago. The time is therefore right to put this land into an economic use for the benefit of the wider business community.     

Our journey to extend our Harlow site is only just starting – there will be lots to do before we can welcome our first customer, but just as we did in 2004, we are ready to dust off our wellies and hard hats and get stuck in, to create a space that is both economically and practically beneficial for the town.

We’re going to do it the green way  

The extension site previously formed part of the Green Belt but this designation was removed during the last Local Plan review, so the site is now unallocated for any planning purposes. That said, the site is a natural extension to employment land and our proposals are entirely consistent with the Council’s planning policies which seek to encourage development of “starter units” for new businesses. We are keen to achieve this so that we can maintain our role as a responsible member of the Harlow community and work toward the greater good and growth of our town. Brad comments on the project’s signification of Capital Space’s “commitment to supporting local business growth in Harlow”. This is our home from home and we aim to contribute to making Harlow as pleasant a place to live as possible.

Within this, of course comes our responsibility to our environment. And this comes as both a responsibility to the ecosystem and to the community. Our application – whilst still an outline – includes consideration of planning and transport policy, biodiversity, drainage, utilities, and crime prevention. It represents a considerable investment by Capital Space in both its centre and Harlow generally.

Greenway now, Greenway then, Greenway in the future

We’ve come a long way since 2004. The current Greenway site boasts an impressive 60 offices, studios and workshops.  Our space is always in short supply, with vacancies at only 1.6%, occasionally we have to disappoint would-be customers by not being able to find space for them on site. The extension would allow us to provide 26,063 sq ft comprising 26 units of varying size, and to add 44 parking spaces to the existing generous provision.  

In line with the company’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and to enhance green areas, the expanded site will also feature an outdoor seating area for the wellbeing of staff and customers, solar panels, two EV charging points and new attractive landscaping. And, in line with the Capital Space quality that residents have come to know and love, the site will also benefit from a high-speed broadband connection.

Of course, this project is no easy undertaking. Brad says Capital Space hopes to open the centre in two years’ time if the application is successful.

“It’s an exciting development for us as it has been a couple of years since we have undertaken a new building project at our business centres. It is proof, too, that our simple, monthly licence is a big hit with small businesses as our flexible terms allow companies to budget, which is particularly crucial in these challenging economic conditions.”

As we look towards the new year, we are so excited by the prospect of watching even more businesses flourish over the coming years, while we nurture both the environment and the community, and honour our commitment to Harlow.

If you are looking for a workspace that aids productivity, collaboration, and flexibility, please contact us: we’d love to help.