Faithful+Gould to Play Major Role in DigitalCity Project

Dale Potts
The Teesside office of Faithful+Gould is celebrating its appointment to a flagship regeneration scheme in the heart of Middlesbrough.

The £7 million project will see Faithful+Gould’s team providing project management and quantity surveying services to the Boho Zone Digital Enterprise Centre, which will occupy a significant part of Middlesbrough town centre.

The creation of a BoHo Zone was officially kickstarted when One NorthEast’s board approved over £7million through the Tees Valley Partnership towards a total investment of nearly £17 million over three years from Middlesbrough Council, Erimus Housing and the European Regional Development Fund into the area.

Faithful+Gould is working for Middlesbrough Council, on behalf of the DigitalCity project, an ambitious initiative driving the development of a digital media, digital technologies and creative industries "supercluster" in the Tees Valley.

The DigitalCity project is founded on the vision of new digital technologies forming a signature industry for the Tees Valley, that can replace jobs lost in more traditional industries, and create new prosperity and confidence in the region.

The Centre will house flexible workspace for new, accelerating and medium sized digital media, creative and technology companies. It is expected to create 283 jobs and 27 new businesses.

Newcastle based practice XSite Architecture has worked closely with Faithful+Gould throughout the feasibility stages and will be undertaking a project architect role on the scheme.

Regional director Mark Hopgood commented:

"This project is extremely significant for Faithful+Gould and represents a major addition to our regeneration portfolio. Additionally, it sees our Stockton based team working on a project which will effect a massive transformation on the economy in the Tees Valley and beyond. We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious local project.

"The programme does pose some challenges to our team as the design and construction has to be undertaken within a strict time period. In addition, as the scheme is funded by many partners there is a requirement to meet the conditions of all parties whilst also maintaining the design integrity of the building.

"Our team is very much looking forward to start on site, which is expected in June."

John McDougall, Chairman of the DigitalCity project, said:

“The Digital Enterprise Centre will be a spectacular purpose designed, new building which will attract large scale inward investment and international business to contribute to the vitality of the Tees Valley. It is an integral part of the DigitalCity project, and will also link in with The University of Teesside’s thriving digital technologies and creative sectors, encouraging graduates to remain in the region and contribute to the Tees Valley economy.”

David Allison, the director of Business and Industry at One NorthEast said:

"One NorthEast is delighted to be a partner in the development of the exciting Boho Zone and to be contributing over £7m towards this latest piece of the DigitalCity jigsaw which is firmly placing Tees Valley on the creative map.

"The BoHo Zone will offer a fostering approach for those who have gained their qualifications by providing a community facility to help their digital business grow and prosper.

“This funding will not only help create and nurture jobs and businesses it will help secure their future through this sustainable facility. The BoHo Zone will boost the local economy and continue to build on the reputations of the DigitalCity project and the University of Teesside, ensuring that academic excellence can be converted into business creation and growth.

"The BoHo Zone is also ideally placed to complement the redevelopment of Middlehaven which together are helping the rejuvenation of the Tees Valley, encouraging people to stay and work and contribute to the North East economy."

Adrian Watson, Senior Business Development Officer, Middlesbrough Council, said:

"The new building will play a crucial role in supporting the regeneration of a key site set between Middlesbrough town centre and Middlehaven. It will also help to create a modern and diversified economic base within the Tees Valley which forms a key part of our overall regeneration vision for our town."

"I very much look forward to seeing the building upon its completion in September 2008."

Other professional firms working on the project are:

  • Max Fordhams: Service engineers
  • Clancy Consulting: Structural engineers
  • TGP Landscapes: Landscape architect