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Leicestershire scheme wins international award

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Leicestershire County Council have won a NEC award for their Loughborough Science and Enterprise Park

Leicestershire County Council won the accolade for its pioneering 100,000 sq ft office project at Loughborough Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) which was delivered by Perfect Circle and Wates Group.

The NEC award, which recognises excellence in how building contracts are run across the globe, has been given in previous years to schemes as far flung as Peru and New Zealand. This year the Leicestershire County Council scheme fought off tough competition from other shortlisted entries including a new development at Hong Kong airport.

The council worked in partnership with Loughborough University to create the new building which is leased to tech giant, The Access Group. It is thought to be the largest, single-occupier office deal in the county this century.


This award is a phenomenal achievement. To be recognised here in Leicestershire on a global stage for excellence in delivering large scale projects and working with partners is an honour and a testament to the hard work put in.

Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council

Nick continued, "We are investing in property across the county, and this deal alone generating £1.6m a year in revenue which goes directly towards supporting vital front-line council services."


We are working hard with our money, we are building new workspaces, creating jobs and opportunities for council residents, and boosting the economy.

Lee Breckon, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for resources

Lee continued, "By investing wisely, we have more money to spend on improving our services. I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this project a success.”

From inception to completion, the office at LUSEP, was completed in under four years with work continuing safely through the pandemic. The Access group’s new offices will create 500 new jobs based in Loughborough.

We are absolutely delighted with this award for the latest addition to our growing Science Park. The Armstrong Building occupies a prominent position on our Science and Enterprise Park, exemplifying both the strategic growth in our eco-system which encompasses the University and LUSEP, and the collaboration we enjoy with successful businesses such as Access Group. We look forward to continuing to grow this relationship.

Professor Malcolm Cook, LUSEP lead


The Access Group, a leading provider of business management software to mid-sized organisations, has more than 35,000 customers across commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Founded in 1991, Access employs more than 3,000 staff with a significant number based in the Midlands.

We’re delighted that The Access Group’s HQ at LUSEP has been named Project of the Year at the NEC Awards.

Victoria Brambini, managing director at Perfect Circle

Victoria continued, “The 80,000 sq. ft. building, which was developed on 5.5 acres of land, provides Category A office space spread across three floors – supporting the council’s ambitions to develop its estate and provide long-term financial benefits for the region.”

It’s been a fantastic journey from inception to completion, delivered on time and on budget. We adopted a collaborative, one-team approach between the key stakeholders, client, Wates and the wider consultancy team including supply chain partners.

Matt Hall, national director at Pick Everard, one of Perfect Circle’s shareholders and founding partners

It is testament to the vision established by Leicestershire County Council and Loughborough University – which was executed with precision by Perfect Circle and Wates, with the support of an extensive local supply chain – that this wonderful building has been recognised with such a prestigious award.

Mark Robinson, group chief executive of SCAPE

Mark continued, "By fostering an open and collaborative relationship, these works have not only delivered an eye-catching landmark for the local area, but this partnership has resulted in a contemporary and functional office space that is designed to operate sustainably, which is further evidenced by its ‘very good’ BREEAM rating. Projects like this are proof that the industry can play an integral role in achieving the UK’s net zero target.”

Previous winners of this award include the 2019 Pan American and Parapan American Games Venues in Lima, Peru, Perth Transport Futures Project, Scotland and Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, Foxton, New Zealand.