December 6, 2021

Hobson & Porter completes the construction of major new clean innovation centre

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire-based construction firm Hobson & Porter has completed the £12m construction of the Aura Innovation Centre at the Bridgehead Business Park in Hessle, East Yorkshire.

The centre will deliver ground-breaking low-carbon projects and accelerate new ideas by bringing together experts at the University of Hull with businesses in the Humber region and beyond.

The aim is to provide a ‘front door’ for the university, giving businesses easy access to advanced facilities, specialist funded support and a space to innovate and collaborate with academic and industry experts.

Despite not being officially launched until early next year, the university’s Programme Manager Sarah Clark says there’s been a lot of interest in the building. She said: “As the global economy shifts towards a low-carbon future, the green energy transition opens up a myriad of challenges and opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

“More than 200 dynamic, high growth businesses have already engaged with the Aura Innovation Centre to find out how the University of Hull and Aura can help them accelerate their sustainable innovation projects.

“13 funded projects are currently live and are being delivered with colleagues across the University of Hull, with over 26 more in the pipeline before the centre has even opened.”

From the very outset of the project, Hobson & Porter and University of Hull set out to create a sustainable building, which exceeds environmentally-friendly standards.

The centre has already been recognised for its excellence in sustainability. It is positioned within the top 10% of sustainable UK new non-domestic buildings, thanks to its clever design, and construction, sustainable materials sourced and local supply chain used where possible – achieving an ‘excellent’ standard in BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment for buildings.

The AIC was also awarded an A-rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of 18, considerably higher than most new buildings of a similar scale (which would expect to achieve a rating of 31).

The ten-month project is the latest in Hobson & Porter’s growing portfolio in the renewables sector.

In the last five years the firm has seen a total revenue from the sector totalling more than £22m.

This also includes:

  • New onshore operations base and warehouses for Ørsted to service its Westermost Rough Wind Farm.
  • The creation of the East Coast Hub – the UK’s largest offshore wind operations and maintenance facility.

Richard Hunter, managing director for Hobson & Porter, said: “We’re delighted to have completed the construction of the Aura Innovation Centre, which will play a huge role in strengthening the region’s reputation as a leader in offshore wind innovation, bringing together the major players in the industry.

“The construction has gone very well, with our team completing the project on time, on budget and to an extremely high standard.

“It’s been a real team effort and down to the hard work of everyone involved – from the onsite team, planners, the consultants and the supply chain partners who supported the project. This building will have a really positive impact, not just on this area, but nationally, so we are proud to have played our part in it.”

Whilst carrying out the construction work, Hobson & Porter also made time to engage with local school children. Pupils from All Saints’ CE Federation in Hessle were taken around the site, with students also designing posters which were put up around the Aura. Staff also went into schools to teach them about the work and the construction industry.

Mr Hunter said: “We’ve really enjoyed engaging with local school children. They are our future and it hasn’t just taught them about the construction industry, but also about the renewables’ sector.”

(images courtesy of David Lee Photography Ltd)