foodeast faces scale back and delays

Craig Foss, chair of foodeast, the planned food innovation hub to be based in Hastings, is confident that the $20m project will achieve its vision, despite a scale back in the project.


  Added 2 years ago

foodeast faces scale back and delays

Craig Foss, chair of foodeast, the planned food innovation hub to be based in Hastings, is confident that the $20m project will achieve its vision, despite a scale back in the project.

In May, it was announced that rapidly rising costs had led to a scrapping of the original design, with the design team working on a  “new, scaled-back version of the project which includes reducing the main building from two storeys down to one”.

Foss says the project is progressing well, “Albeit behind the timeframe that was originally set. COVID had a serious impact on the planning of the build and the construction cost of it, but the board is pleased that it has been able to cut its cloth to fit, and is moving along at a good pace.”

“We have been able to retain the features that matter most; those that allow innovation, collaboration, and networking. The critically important element is the connections between start-ups and existing businesses with innovative thinkers across New Zealand, that can help bring new products to market – that is the defining aim.”

Groundworks on the scaled back project are expected to start in early 2023, and the hub operational by late 2023, a delay of 12 months from the original plan.

Despite the main building becoming a single storey as opposed to two, Foss says the redesign “provides more usable square footage than the original”. There’s currently no visuals or artist impression of the plan b approach. Foss says that the project has a defined footprint and scale with the detailed aesthetic design still to be worked through.

With construction and labour costs continuing to rise, and shortages of both, Foss says the foodeast board continues to take advice in order to mitigate any further impacts to the project.

Foss is upbeat about the project, and that it retains industry confidence.

“The board has confidence that the project will achieve its vision, which has been shared with potential users and industry leaders from early in the planning phase. The alterations to the footprint of the building are not expected to compromise industry confidence.”

He wouldn’t be drawn on naming the organisations that are likely to be part of foodeast once open, noting that expressions of interest continue, “however given they are private companies, foodeast is unable to provide details”.

You can find out more about foodeast at www.foodeast.co.nz but note the web content has not been updated for the change in scale or timeline of the project.

What: foodeast - a centre of excellence for food, beverage and agri-tech innovation

Where: Elwood Road, Hastings

When: Construction early 2023, operational late 2023

Total budget: $20m

The money:  MBIE $12m, balance from Hastings District Council, Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (owned by Hawke's Bay Regional Council), and the Craig Hickson-owned Progressive Meats

Ownership: Owned by a Council Controlled Trading Organisation (CCTO), and managed by a board made up of investor representatives

 


Join the conversation

Paul Harris - Aug 22, 2022, 12:52 AM

This is much needed for the Bay ... Can we not simply replicate the one in the waikato where various agency input (muitiple tenant and private sector input) has lead to a class leading innovation centre ... widen the funding base make the focus really relevant and we must be able to push it along ...

Leave a comment

All comments are reviewed before they are published on the website. Your email address will not be published.

Fill out my online form.
Mangaroa Farms - Cultivating Sustainability and Regenerative Agriculture in Whitemans Valley
Mangaroa Farms - Cultivating Sustainability and Regenerative Agriculture in Whitemans Valley
Added 12 hrs ago
Wilmot Cattle Co's Soil Carbon Sequestration - A Profitable Venture or Short-Term Fix?
Wilmot Cattle Co's Soil Carbon Sequestration - A Profitable Venture or Short-Term Fix?
Added 13 hrs ago
Rebuilding farm infrastructure – opportunities for farmers
Rebuilding farm infrastructure – opportunities for farmers
Added 4 days ago
Carbon Positive Project February Update
Carbon Positive Project February Update
Added a week ago
Don’t dismiss soil’s carbon offset role
Don’t dismiss soil’s carbon offset role
Added a week ago
Exporting 101: Food and Fibre
Exporting 101: Food and Fibre
Added a week ago