The Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors (HHBA) met for the first Ambassadors meeting of the year at the BSI Group headquarters in Hemel Hempstead – Kitemark House – on Tuesday 1 February, to hear from an exciting line-up of speakers on the latest developments taking place within and around Dacorum.
The meeting was opened by Gary Stringer, Place Manager and closed by Jean McLeish, Chair of the HHBA Board. The speakers for this first event of 2018 included: Eoin O’Riordan, Operations Director, Global Product Certification at BSI Group; Helen Rainsford, Senior Director of Retail Development at Aviva Investors; Paul Weston, Senior Vice President, Head of London &South East Markets, at Prologis UK.
The commanding view from the 4th floor of Kitemark House whet everyone’s appetite for information on the two major developments at Maylands Gateway, including Prologis Park – the first development of the new Hertfordshire Enviro-Tech Enterprise Zone – and Aviva’s Maylands Gateway development, a new 112,000 sq ft retail park.
Three major brands are already confirmed, with Costa Coffee, McDonald’s and Aldi becoming the first of 12 new occupiers at the Retail Park. Helen Rainsford, Senior Director of Retail Development at Aviva Investors, said: “The new scheme will deliver high quality out-of-town retail space to serve the Maylands area, and the rapidly expanding new residential area to the west of Hemel Hempstead and towards St Albans. We are already in talks with further food, fashion, sports and homeware retail operators about securing space in the second phase.”
Paul Weston, Head of London & South East Markets for Prologis UK, discussed in some detail the superior connectivity of Hemel Hempstead, with its excellent network of major roads, highly skilled labour pool and a growing local population who can enjoy the ample local amenities and charming countryside.
He also talked the Ambassadors through the infrastructure of the £80m scheme which will provide Grade A industrial/distribution space, with buildings from 8,600 to 169,000 sq ft and availability from the latter part of 2018.
“Being part of the local community is a core part of our business philosophy and we look forward to delivering a scheme which the business and residential community will be proud of,” said Mr Weston. “We have been investing in Hemel Hempstead for almost 20 years and, in addition to providing local employment, Prologis Park Hemel Hempstead will offer green spaces, footpaths and cycleways which will benefit both employees of the park and local residents.”
Eion O’Riordan, Operations Director, Global Product Certification at BSI Group commented: ”the role of BSI is to provide services and expertise in testing and certification of products, an area with which the public is already familiar with the Kitemark.
“BSI will also be testing in new areas, relevant to the public environment, in our newest Laboratories offering H&S testing to new regulations and testing smart devices to operate safe and securely in the new ‘internet of things’ world of the future”.
Kitemark House is the home of the BSI Kitemark™ and has seen tens of thousands of products through its doors since it opened in 1954. It has recently undergone a £5m investment, to deliver new tests and schemes enabling manufacturers to bring products to market as quickly as possible. BSI Group also invest in the local community, working alongside schools, with an apprenticeship scheme and ‘giving back’ to a number of local charities.
Jean McLeish, who is Head of Public Sector Marketing at Sopra Steria in addition to her Chair duties, concluded by saying, “these meetings provide the perfect forum for open discussion amongst businesses of all sizes across Dacorum with a view to helping shape the future and direction of growth within the business community.”
For further information, visit www.investhemel.co.uk or contact Gary Stringer, Ambassador Place Manager, on tel: 01442 228808.