How Boho digital development can influence town’s future

Boho 8
Boho 8

Mayor Andy Preston believes the town’s digital sector can “shape Middlesbrough’s future prosperity” after donning a hard hat to see working progressing on the latest phase of the cutting edge Boho campus.

Construction on Boho 8 started earlier this year with the project on target for completion early in 2021.

The £2.3m project – backed by Local Growth Fund funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority – is the latest element of the hugely successful Boho quarter, and is the first development within Middlesbrough’s Digital City project.

The bespoke modular units will provide additional space for rapidly expanding companies in Boho One and Boho 5, as well as attracting new digital and creative businesses to the area.

The four bespoke-designed, cantilevered buildings range from 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft and will be completed by main contractor M-AR Off Site during the winter.

The development to the rear of Boho One will be complemented by modern contemporary external communal space with a high street feel.

Foundations are now in place at the Sussex Street site to accommodate the development’s state-of-the-art modular buildings and steel ‘V’ columns.

Four individual office blocks have been erected consisting of 18 off-site constructed modules installed over a five-day period, with roof works nearing completion.

Staircases have been installed and cladding work is under way, with landscaping work due early in the new year.

Mayor Preston said: “The progress on site is amazing since our last visit – Boho 8 is literally taking shape before our eyes.

“It’s a key step in £250 million of investment that will propel Middlesbrough to become the UK’s number one digital city.

“These are tough times, but in this digital and creative hotspot we can really see the sort of aspiration and ambition that will shape Middlesbrough’s future prosperity.”

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s fantastic to see the progress being made on the new Boho 8.

“The creative and digital sectors are key growth sectors and both are playing a huge part in my plan for jobs – a plan that is delivering good-quality, well paid jobs for local people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“We already have some world-class creative businesses right here on our doorstep, from games studios working on the next blockbuster for the likes of Microsoft to firms developing ground-breaking fully immersive VR technologies.

“These hugely successful companies, and many more like them, need modern space in order to grown and create jobs, and that’s exactly what Boho 8 will provide.

“The impact of the coronavirus has been unprecedented, but we are still investing and doing all we can to support existing businesses and protect jobs across the region while also providing the essential

infrastructure to grow our economy.”

M-AR’s partnerships and business development director Amanda Grimbleby said: “We are proud to be able to deliver this exciting and prestigious project at Boho 8 in collaboration with Middlesbrough Council using ‘Modern Methods of Construction’.

“Whilst we commenced works on site in Middlesbrough in August this year, we also commenced the off-site construction process simultaneously in our lean manufacturing facility, with the 18 lorry loads of 49m2 individual modules completed and quality checked ready for delivery to the site only eight weeks later.

“With project completion targeted this winter, this just demonstrates the speed in which off-site construction can accelerate the delivery of such projects, and this has all been able to happen during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The innovative design created by Seymour Architecture will provide light, bright and inspiring office spaces for ambitious and creative digital businesses in the region and being part of making this happen is inspiring in itself.

“I would like to personally thank the forward thinking team at Middlesbrough Council for embracing modern methods of construction.”

Tony Maw, technical support manager with framework provider Consortium Procurement Construction, said: “To me, it’s all about collaborative working and early engagement with the client and appointed company, to show what our Modular Buildings solution can achieve.

“I think Boho 8 is a great example of this achievement working alongside Middlesbrough Council.”