Growing Futures – inspired by Bradford’s Newlands Community Association Business Park

One of the interesting things about working on IncredibleEdible Mytholm’s Growing Futures project is the way that people keep coming up with useful ideas.

The latest example is a suggestion that IncredibleEdible Mytholm look at what Tony Holditch and the Newlands Community Association have done at the Inspire Business Park in Bradford.

At a cost of £4m, Newlands Community Association have completed the fairly staggering task of building Europe’s largest straw bale, panel constructed building, along with a second straw bale building, that now provide 14 serviced offices and 14 managed workspaces.

Straw bale construction specialist ModCell put up the two buildings using 260 48cm-thick prefabricated timber frame/straw bale wall panels.

Straw bale Inspire Business Park building, photo credit: Inspire/NCA

Newlands Community Association own, manage and are based on the Inspire Business Park, which aims to redefine what a business park is. Their website says

“Inspire is a Bradford business park like no other. Offering 14 fully serviced offices and 14 flexible work spaces within two sustainable buildings, it is also a community facility providing training, education, care and social activities.”

To make this possible, NCA  secured grants of £3.009m, from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme in Yorkshire and The Humber (£1.019m), £1m the Communitybuilders Fund (£1m) and £990,000 from Bradford Council’s Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (£990,000). NCA also secured a £1m mortgage from The Charity Bank.

I think IEM are due for a trek over to Bradford fairly soon, in search of more inspiration and information for Growing Futures.