Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP)

The positive feedback I had from my team as to how they worked with Wates and Perfect Circle was very comforting especially as the construction period covered the deepest parts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The whole team approach made the project a great success.”

Jon Bennett | Head of Strategic Property Services | Leicestershire County Council

NEC Awards
Building/FM of the Year 2021
SME spend
Social value creation

Collaboration between Wates and Perfect Circle has delivered an internationally recognised winning project for Leicestershire businesses and the local community.

From the outset, the objective of this project was to deliver a high-quality office building for Leicestershire County Council, which would help develop and diversify its estate.

Local Authorities up and down the country are facing unprecedented pressures on budget and resources and as such, are actively seeking ways to broaden their revenue streams. Creating a diverse estate will help generate an income for the council, to support vital front line services including highway maintenance and social care for children and adults. It will also aid the local economy with the creation of hundreds of high skilled jobs.

The Access Group identified the building as a perfect location for its new head office, housing a third of its global workforce, and were secured as the tenant before construction on the £20.4m project started.

From inception to completion, the project was delivered on time and budget, with work continuing safely through the pandemic. Taking less than four years to complete, the new building offers 102,000sq ft commercial office space across three floors. With sustainability at the heart of this award-winning project, it is designed to BREAAM "Very Good" standard with a glazed central core. The works also included a Category A fit out, delivery of a range of ecology conditions and a number of sustainability features designed to reduce the building’s carbon footprint. These include:

Advanced HVAC systems for optimal climate control and energy use
300 solar panels to reduce dependence on grid electrical supply - over 505m² were integrated into the rooftop design
Efficient lighting design to minimise power wastage and create optimal working conditions

This will allow the building to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 52,000kg each year.

The new building is constructed on the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, on land owned by Loughborough University and leased by the Council, within Loughborough's green belt. The development was situated on a substantial slope, meaning that significant cut and fill works were required. To overcome this, the project teams worked collaboratively and by introducing retaining structures, they enabled the site levels to work. This efficient solution helped to significantly minimise cost and maintain the agreed build programme.

Before work began, a roost of protected brown long-eared bats was found close to the plot. To safeguard them and to avoid minimum disruption to their habitat, the teams constructed a 40m long, 2.5m high trellis fence during the pre-construction phase.

Collaboration between the project teams from Wates, Perfect Circle and the rest of the supply chain was essential to ensure work could complete on time and continue to be carried out safely throughout the pandemic. By introducing onsite welfare facilities to ensure adherence to social distancing protocols as well as an enhanced cleaning and sanitisation regime, the project received a Considerate Constructors Score of 41.

From its inception to completion, the project was delivered on time and budget, with work continuing safely through the pandemic. The project won 'Building/FM of the Year' at the 2021 NEC Awards, an award that recognises any project procured in the building and  / or facilities management sector under any NEC Contract where best practice collaboration has been achieved.

The Access Group's workforce are able to benefit from working in a modern and environmentally-friendly office environment, fitting for a fast-growing business software specialist. As well as creating a desirable commercial facility, the project is the largest single-occupier office new-build deal in the East Midlands this century, creating 500 skilled jobs and generating £1.6M per year for the Council’s frontline services. Additionally, attracting a blue-chip occupier such as The Access Group, the region's strength as a business hub is reinforced, boosting Loughborough University’s reputation for education, business and innovation as well as the regional economy and beyond.

The project also sought to promote and support local people and local businesses throughout the project. More than 80% of the supply chain SMEs were from the local region, and all supply chain payments were made within 19 days.

Over the course of the build programme, £56,000 was spent with five local social enterprises and a wide range of education events and placements were organised or attended by Wates, Perfect Circle and SCAPE. These included site visits by more than 60 students on construction and design management courses, as well as construction careers talks to more than 300 school children. In total, these activities helped to deliver almost £12m in social value for the local area.

As well as engaging with local social enterprises and supporting young people through a range of educational initiatives, the project teams committed their time to support the local community through a range of different activities.

This included volunteering to carry out hedge planting at a nearby country park, and volunteering time supporting the long-standing Viking Challenge, a cycling event across Leicestershire that was most recently raised money for the MS Society.

Download the full LUSEP project impact report here.

This project underlines the strength of Leicestershire as a great place to do business as well as the county council’s place at the forefront of the drive for growth and innovation. It also cements Loughborough’s growing global reputation as a business and innovation centre and shows that Leicestershire is truly open for business."

Nick Rushton
Leader | Leicestershire County Council

He continues: “Our approach of building new workspaces is creating jobs and boosting the economy, which is vital in securing a good recovery from the COVID pandemic, and crucially, it means we can invest more into services such as maintaining our roads and supporting vulnerable people.”

The high calibre of work delivered is testament to the quality of the teams at Wates and Perfect Circle and will ultimately deliver exceptional value for Leicestershire County Council and the communities it serves. I wish Access Group every success for the future, as it relocates it UK headquarters to the new site."

Mark Robinson
Group Chief Executive | SCAPE

Leicestershire County Council Logo
SCAPE Construction Primary Logo
Perfect Circle Logo



SCAPE Construction | For the public sector

Project value


SME spend





Very Good

NEC Awards

Building/FM of the Year 2021

Social value creation


Employability workshops

724 attendees

Community workshops

258 attendees

Apprenticeships created


Local labour within 40 miles


Considerate Constructors Score


Project gallery


An efficient lighting design, HVAC systems and solar panels will help reduce the building’s carbon footprint


The project has created a new income stream for Leicestershire County Council


The three-storey building offers 102,000sq ft commercial office space and is designed to BREAAM Very Good standard


300 solar panels allow the building to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 52,000kg each year

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