Landmark building officially opens at Wheal Jane Earth Science Park.
Wardell Armstrong International (WAI) has officially taken possession of their newly renovated and extended office building on the Wheal Jane Earth Science Park.
WAI have been tenants at the Earth Science Park for over seven years and will now benefit from the funding package put together by private owners and investors Brownfield Investments Ltd and the European Regional Development Fund. The £1.8m project set out in May 2013 to revitalise Baldhu House, the former mine office building situated at the entrance to Wheal Jane, to enable high growth and specialised business WAI, to continue its growth in Cornwall.
Phil Newall, Managing Director of WAI said: ‘We look forward to continued growth of staff numbers both in the new offices and our recently refurbished laboratory and minerals pilot test plant (also at Wheal Jane). Our commitment at Wheal Jane enables us to provide excellent consultancy services in the UK and throughout the world as a significant employer in Cornwall.’
Jan Lewis, Deputy Managing Director of WAI said: ‘Baldhu House could not be better suited to Wardell Armstrong as a mining and renewable energy consultancy. It has transformed the former mine office of Wheal Jane into BREEAM excellent offices with many environmental features such as solar panels, timber cladding and ground source heating. The airy interior and stunning views make this an exciting and vibrant place to work.
With offices in the UK, Russia and Kazakhstan WAI have seen the scale of mining and renewable work develop; the expanded office will give them the space needed to grow their team by 10 new jobs by the end of 2015 joining their fifty-strong team at the site.
The Wheal Jane mine closed in 1992 but since 1999 the site has become home to a number of mining and minerals companies who are continuing to grow as Bernard Ballard, Director of Brownfield Investments Ltd explained: ‘The 90s refurbished older buildings on site are now showing their age, we aim to upgrade the buildings to the latest environmental standards thanks to our joint investment with ERDF. The Baldhu building has been a real game changer for Wheal Jane as we continue to attract earth science and environmental businesses to the site.’
At the official opening Russell Dodge Managing Director of Business Location Services said: ‘The Baldhu building showcases what lies ahead on the Wheal Jane site as it continues its transformation into an environmental work hub. Being able to refurbish a tired mining building rather than just build from scratch demonstrates the ethos of Wheal Jane’s owners to invest time and money into creating environmentally friendly new workspaces from existing infrastructure.’
Chris Pomfret, Chair of the LEP and Deputy Chair of the Convergence Local Management Committee, which steers the Convergence programme said: ‘The Wheal Jane site is one of those hidden gems in the Cornish business world whose influence and quality we cannot underestimate. I have been visiting Wheal Jane since the start of the Baldhu build, now with the opening of this great new building it demonstrates the commitment by the private sector to invest and stay within our region in a very specialised sector.’
About the Earth Science Cluster:
The vision for Wheal Jane is turn the site into a flagship sustainable business park by transforming the disused tin mine site into sustainable Earth Science Cluster, attracting a variety of earth science businesses. By harnessing renewable energy resources, Wheal Jane hopes to create a blueprint for a more sustainable Cornwall, as well as boosting the local economy and creating more jobs in the area.
- Find out more about the Wheal Jane Development Masterplan www.whealjanemasterplan.co.uk
- Find out more about WAI www.wardell-armstrong.com
- BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method
- Business Location Services Ltd of Truro undertook the preparation of the Convergence Grant Funding application on behalf of Brownfield Investments Ltd
- Team Shot: L-R Russell Dodge (BLS) Chris Pomfret (Convergence) Bernard Ballard (Brownfield)
- WAI Building: the new entrance way to the refurbished building
The Baldhu Office project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
For more information visit:
ERDF Convergence: £958,152
Brownfield Investments Ltd: £843,480
For more information visit www.erdfconvergence.org.uk
Media Relations Officer for the Convergence support team
Managing Director, Business Location Services Ltd
Thursday 19 June 2014