How the building will look
How the building will look
Richard Bell

Works starts on Durham-based Howarth Litchfield’s £7m Digital Office Park

Work has started on a multi-million pound development in Lancashire that involved Durham architects Howarth Litchfield.

The company announced a deal last year to provide technical services for the £7m Digital Office Park development in Chorley.

Since its appointment, Howarth Litchfield has prepared RIBA Stage 4 tender documentation to secure a building contractor.

Construction firm Willmott Dixon was chosen for the scheme, enabling work to begin on the three-storey office complex.

Howarth Litchfield will continue as client’s adviser from RIBA Stage 5 onwards and provide principal designer services.

The Digital Office Park at Strawberry Fields, due for completion in May 2019, will house innovation pods, hot desk facilities, flexible office accommodation and car parking. It will be geared towards startups and bigger businesses operating within the growing digital economy.

According to Howarth Litchfield, it is hoped the project will serve as a catalyst for further development on the Strawberry Fields site. Additional plans include the creation of a business centre, digital data centre and housing.

David Pickersgill, Howarth Litchfield director, said: “We are pleased to see this scheme go live and delighted to assist Chorley Council to bring this project to fruition.

“The Digital Office Park forms part of Chorley Council’s development strategy for this part of the town and once complete, is destined to make a huge impact, placing Chorley at the heart of Lancashire’s digital economy.”

He continued: “I am confident that our experience of schemes requiring digital infrastructure for Hewlett Packard and at NETPark in County Durham, where we are currently on site with the Centre for Process Innovation, will stand us in good stead while we seek to ensure the build programme goes smoothly and the project is delivered on time and against a fixed budget.”

Chorley Council secured more than £4.1m of European Regional Development Funding in 2017 to progress the scheme.

Cllr Alistair Bradley, Chorley Council Leader, commented: “The Digital Office Park is a very exciting development for Chorley and residents and visitors will start to see a difference on Strawberry Fields now that work is underway.

“The new advanced space will be used by start-up businesses and growing businesses and it will create hundreds of well-paid and skilled jobs which is great for our local economy.

The professional team behind the project includes mechanical and electrical consultants RPS Group; structural and civil engineers Curtin’s; quantity surveyors RLB; and project management services provider Identity Consult.

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