SOG's key role in helping to secure UCL's new research laboratory for Dagenham
UCL is to create a state-of-the-art research laboratory at the Londoneast-uk Business and Technical Park which until last year was owned by SOG Group.
Londoneast-uk, which was created by SOG, sits on the site of a former major pharmaceutical plant in Dagenham, east London, where SOG spearheaded a regeneration process that has led to over £2billion of inward investment being generated.
Up until last year SOG operated Londoneast-uk as a sister site to The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn until the Dagenham plant was sold to a company owned by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.
UCLs PEARL (Person-Environment-Activity Research Laboratory) is a unique facility that will explore the ways in which people interact with their environment. Due to be completed in 2021, PEARL will provide the wherewithal for researchers to engage with the public to discover what activities people want or need to do, and the ways in which the environment helps or hinders them. From this knowledge, researchers, scientists, engineers and designers are able to apply and test the ways in which the environment can be designed in order to enable people to live with a greater quality of life in the social space that is society.
The facilitys research and experimental space can create life-sized, controlled condition environments — such as a railway station, a high street or town square — where people's inter-action with the environment and each other can be examined. The new facility will house several underground trains to help with UCLs world-renowned research into travel and the environment.
SOG spent more than two years in negotiations with UCL and played a key role in devising an in-depth scouting study that helped to convince UCL that Londoneast-uk was the ideal location for the PEARL building. The final deal was agreed with Londoneast-uks new owners, a trading company owned and operated by London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.
LBBD Council Leader Darren Rodwell says that overall the PEARL project will lead to further investment and a series of cutting-edge projects, including new film studios, two of Europes largest data centres, a hotel and the Londoneast-uk Business and Technical Park.
Cllr Rodwell said: UCL is one of the great institutions of the world when it comes to science, engineering and education and we are delighted that they have chosen Londoneast-uk as the home for this fantastic PEARL initiative. Our agreement with PEARL was signed in November and I must acknowledge the massive contribution that SOG Group made over the past two years to make this possible by convincing UCL that Dagenham was the perfect location for this highly prestigious research facility.
Professor Nick Tyler, Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering at UCL, said: PEARLs vision is to create a better world through designing infrastructure that works for everyone, but also by facilitating research and education across a wide range of areas, including the arts, humanities and medical sciences, as well as planning, design and engineering.
About The Heath
The Heath, which was established as a business park in 2000, has attracted over 175 British and international companies, ranging from bio science firms to IT specialists, from food industry consultants to website designers, and from government agencies to telemarketing specialists. Residents have been attracted by the 60-acre business park's vast range of impressive facilities and its flexibility in space management and in attitude. The Heath offers a wide range of office and laboratory space, together with a purpose-built conference centre that includes a 120-seat lecture theatre. Residents can also choose from a wide selection of additional services, including telephone and broadband connectivity, laboratory support services, scientific glass-blowing and precision engineering facilities, to name but a few. Residents also have access to The Heath's fitness centre and gym. Combined with 1,700 parking spaces, its first-class transport links - and the ability for residents to select and pay for just the services they require - it's no surprise that the number of companies on The Heath is continuing to grow rapidly.
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PAUL SMITH ASSOCIATES
6th February 2020