Taking care of business….

Oxford Business Park has a long history of providing work space and associated services to businesses in the City. In 1994 a revolution occurred with the closure of the former Morris Motors factory and the development of Oxford Business Park by Arlington. The City was emerging from its roots in manufacturing and a new environment that included work space, a Hotel, Children’s Nursery, Health Club and a Retail park was created providing a community for multiple businesses from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Fast forward 25 years and Arlington, now under new ownership, is re-investing across the Park to provide new facilities and services for customers whilst refurbishing business space to meet the demands of modern businesses. Taking care of business in this way is nothing new for the team at Oxford Business Park and these community enhancements are a natural fit for their holistic customer focused philosophy – designed with the heritage of the park in mind these facilities will provide the community with new spaces to eat, meet, socialise and communicate ideas with like-minded businesses, all wrapped up by the new “Oxford Park Life” App that will allow customers to access services such as joining a yoga class through to booking a car wash.

Dan Williams, Development Director at Arlington, explained: “Investment was necessary to ensure that our customers can enjoy a vibrant community with the most inspiring offer at the heart of the City’s business quarter. But it’s not just about physical amenities, it’s about providing a variety of services that positively improve the balance in the busy working week, blurring what had previously been referred to as a work/life divide, whilst creating an environment that stimulates interaction amongst colleagues and other businesses to drive collaboration which is at the heart of any innovative community. This is not a box ticking exercise, the projects that we are investing in are thoroughly considered, whether employing the highest quality of design in our work spaces, developing new community hubs or using technology to link services to our customers. We are dedicated to helping businesses in Oxford and are excited about what we feel is a best in class offer for the City”.

Three new community hubs are being created. In partnership with the Jam Factory, the “Oxford Factory” has just opened at the heart of the Park providing a 100 cover restaurant. Sitting next to the Factory is the new business lounge, the “Oxford Works”, home to the Park Management Team, with meeting rooms, seminar spaces and relaxed workspace. To the south of the Park is the “Market Place” that includes a café and provides an outdoor social space where customers can grab a coffee, relax amongst the trees and enjoy a game of table tennis.

Dan said, “These hubs are the latest phase of the community masterplan, but it is also the work space that is experiencing a new direction. The refurbishment of Building 5520 was completed in July and sets a new standard of contemporary office design for the Park, with concierge provision, exposed services and a design solution to ensure maximum adaptability for all types of occupation and it seems to be hitting the right notes, with 2 of the 3 floors having been let on completion of the refurbishment.”

Businesses that have joined the community at Oxford Business Park this year include Oxbotica, Legal Shield, Perspectum Diagnostics, Oxford Biomedica and Animal Dynamics. Kevin Allington from Oxbotica said “As an original spin out of Oxford University, it was important to us that we maintained our Oxfordshire roots as we expanded from a start-up through to a scale-up. When looking for larger premises, we wanted to find somewhere that had all the benefits of a business park but that didn’t compromise on location, and Oxford Business Park offered us just this. It is home to some of the smartest technology minds in the country and is a hub that proudly puts Oxford on the map as a world class digital destination.”

Dan concluded “I am hugely excited to be part of the team that is delivering our customers aspirations in Oxford. Our intention is to have a community that works for all types of business, whether a warehouse style HQ office, or R&D and production buildings, through to fully serviced desk space, all set amongst a vibrant and service rich community and this year we have taken a big leap forward to delivering this.”

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