Venue: Virtual (via Zoom)
Contact: Ian Gourlay (01438) 242703
WELCOME AND CHAIR'S OPENING COMMENTS
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting, including a number of new Board members and first-time attendees.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Board was advised that apologies for absence had been received from County Councillor David Williams (Hertfordshire County Council), Stephen Ward (Catapult), Norman Jennings (Hertfordshire LEP), Neville Reyner (Groundwork East), Patsy Dell (Hertfordshire County Council), Charles Amies (Homes England), Sarah Brierley (East & North Herts NHS Trust), Duncan Forbes (East & North Herts NHS Trust), Julie Newlan (University of Hertfordshire) and Greg Westover (Legal & General).
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND OPENNESS PDF 40 KB
The Board received the latest conflicts of interest list.
MINUTES - STEVENAGE DEVELOPMENT BOARD - 29 JULY 2020 / MATTERS ARISING PDF 114 KB
It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Stevenage Development Board held on 29 July 2020 be approved as a correct record.
TOWN INVESTMENT PLAN - PROJECT SHAPING
Andy Fisher (Barton Willmore), assisted by Graeme Collinge (Genecon), provided details of the project proformas prepared for each of the projects identified at the previous Board meeting as potential schemes for inclusion in a Town Investment Plan submission. He commented that the feedback received at the previous meeting had been incorporated into the ongoing work on the projects. Further work had been carried out to develop the east-west axis across the town, particularly in relation to the Gunnels Wood Road area.
1. Stevenage Technology and Innovation Centre
This would be a new building, to be run by North Herts College, in association with local businesses, and would incorporate:
· Clean Laboratory space;
· Flexible teaching facilities and spaces;
· Virtual ready facilities and technology;
· Engineering space, including practical training space for key trades;
· Café and Student refectory, including kitchens;
· Conference space(s), events space and meeting rooms;
· Practical training space for advanced construction skills; and
· Employer Spaces.
The benefits of the project, how it fitted in with Theme Objectives, and a deliverability assessment were all outlined in the proforma document.
In terms of the estimated cost of £10M, £5M would form part of the Town Deal bid, £3M would be provided by the Herts LEP, with the remaining £2M from the Private Sector.
In response to a number of questions, Kit Davies (North Herts College) explained that this project recognised the importance of science/technology partners in the Borough. A key component, accepted by the College and these partners, was to recruit local Level 3 to 5 qualified individuals, and then to further develop/train them with aspirations/opportunities for promotion into higher level jobs. The existing engineering/technology facilities at the College were no longer fit for purpose. The central location of the Centre would positively contribute to the vitality of the town centre.
The Chair commented that the University of Hertfordshire was looking to create an Institute of Technology (IoT) partnership, and that the Centre would be an ideal element to assist in reaching this goal.
The importance on a robust business case for the Centre was emphasised in terms of running costs based on numbers of students. The Bradford Centre was based on a combination of funding streams and employer contributions through a local levy, but also offered commercial training and development courses.
2. National New Town Heritage Centre
It was proposed that this would now be integrated into the new Civic Hub, which had reduced the cost of the project. It fitted in with the Leisure & Heritage theme and would comprise:
· A retail and circulation space;
· A Café;
· Light-filled learning and circulation spaces;
· Learning space to include built-in storage for handling collections and workshop materials;
· Galleries (permanent and temporary);
· Built-in Ethernet and wi-fi connectivity;
· A strong online presence;
· Collections storage;
· Study Room linked to the Hub Library;
· Workshop with air extraction; and
· Loading bay for incoming exhibitions.
The benefits of the project, how it fitted in with Theme Objectives, and a deliverability assessment were all outlined in the proforma document. ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
BEYOND THE TOWN DEAL
Chris Barnes (Assistant Director of Regeneration, SBC) provided an update on Stevenage Regeneration schemes, including Queensway North, SG1, Bus Station, Town Square/North Block, the Matalan site and Railway Station Multi-Storey Car Park.
Chris advised that work was progressing steadily on the schemes on site, demonstrated by the presentation of a number of photographs. Footfall in the Town Centre remained at about 70% of pre-Covid levels.
Chris that an online Stevenage Visitor Centre experience had been developed to allow the Regeneration proposals to be viewed electronically.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business discussed.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
· Wednesday, 23 September 2020 – 2.00pm (Provisional)
The Chair advised that, although the next Board meeting had been provisionally scheduled for 23 September 2020, there was a possibility that this might change, with the date being pushed back into October. He undertook to ensure that all Board Members were informed either way within the next week or so.