Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire – The Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors gathered on Thursday 21 March to learn more about the vision and aspirations of the Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter (IQ), which comprises 3 million sqft of new commercial development between now and 2032, along with an introduction to Thrive Homes and its developments in the area.

The meeting took place at the iconic Frogmore Paper Mill in Apsley where Ambassadors heard the fascinating history of the world’s oldest mechanised paper mill and were later treated to a tour of the facilities.

Cherie Norris, Programme Manager for Hertfordshire IQ gave an insightful update on the status of the Hertfordshire Enterprise Zone, with plans to encourage environmental technology, agri-tech and modern construction companies to take advantage of its market access and location just 30 minutes from London.

Cherie talked about being:“bold and bright and finding inspiring ways to challenge the norm, to be optimistic and imaginative, enthusiastic and evergreen”.Hertfordshire IQ will also boost investment in local travel, transport and digital connectivity for the area.

Work is underway with landowners The Crown Estate to secure funding to help accelerate critical road infrastructure improvements ahead of growth.

“This project enables us to really challenge all aspects of this development to be outstanding, and to bring an aspirational experience to the companies who locate here and to bring the broader benefits to the whole area through investment, quality of work places and sustainability.”

As a result of Hertfordshire IQ’s partnership with Rothamsted Research, BRE Group and the University of Hertfordshire, Cherie concluded,“we have a unique opportunity to become the place in the UK for sector collaboration relating to those areas where our partners have global leadership, particularly construction and agriculture tech, science, and research”.

Elspeth Mackenzie, Chief Executive of Thrive Homes also presented at the event. Thrive Homes recently moved their Head Office to Dacorum and, in addition, have just opened its first development of new homes in Hemel Hempstead.

The housing association was formed in 2008 following the acquisition of housing stock from Three Rivers District Council and is forging an effective relationship with Dacorum Borough Council - it is currently investing more than £15 million in the local area across five sites.

For further information, visit www.investhemel.co.ukor contact Gary Stringer, Ambassador Place Manager, on tel: 01442 228808.