SOMERSET 6 September – The Gravity Smart Campus was pleased to welcome Somerset’s Lord Lieutenant, Mohammed Saddiq, Vice-Lord Lieutenant, Edward (Ted) Allen and Deputy Lieutenants Denis Burn and Martin Thatcher on their fact-finding visit to Gravity.
The Gravity team, accompanied by representatives from Stantec, Bridgwater & Taunton College and Bridgwater United Sports Community Trust welcomed the Lord Lieutenant before providing strategic updates on the progress made on site to date as well as a guided tour of the 616-acre Enterprise Zone.
Conversations on sustainability, workforce development, social value initiatives and legacy opportunities beyond Hinkley Point C were at the forefront of the visit. Gravity’s low-carbon journey was highlighted by its material management strategy which prioritises re-use, recycling and re-purposing which has significantly reduced the requirement of imported quarried stone.
Andy Berry & Simon Brewer from Bridgwater & Taunton College discussed the college’s infrastructure and their role in the strategic development of new education pathways that would lead local students into jobs at Gravity.
The Lord Lieutenant was involved in a live demonstration of the huge popular Gravity Sphero initiative from Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust, which is has engaged with over 500 local young people since its launch in 2022. This was followed by an introduction into Stantec’s STEM outreach programme which uses Gravity ‘Green Bridge’ as an example to engage children across the key stages about the principles of engineering.
Somerset Larder was in attendance, demonstrating the value of legacy business opportunities beyond Hinkley Point C.
Gravity Director – Planning & Economic Development Claire Pearce commented: “The team was thrilled with the opportunity to host the Somerset Lord Lieutenancy; it was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of work that has been undertaken in preparing Gravity to attract large-scale occupiers and specifically showcase the social value initiatives underway in collaboration with our local stakeholders and communities.
We would like to thank the Somerset Lieutenancy for taking the time to visit our site and our consultants and partners who are committed to delivering our respective ESG ambitions on the ground and who made the visit such a success.”
Somerset Lord Lieutenant, Mohammed Saddiq commented: “A wonderful visit that left me inspired and informed about the remarkable sustainability ambitions for the Gravity site. The visit reinforced my belief in the power of sustainable initiatives and their potential to help grow the local economy.”
The Lord-Lieutenant and all Deputies are volunteers and the titles are honorary. Aside from royal duties, Lord-Lieutenants promote and encourage voluntary and charitable organisations and take an interest in the business, urban and rural and social life of the county. They have wide discretion in how they carry out their tasks and also in those they choose to undertake.
As the sovereign’s representative in his or her area, the Lord-Lieutenant remains non-political and does not hold office in any political party. It is their foremost duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown. In so doing, they seek to promote a spirit of co-operation and good atmosphere by supporting voluntary and benevolent organisations and by the interest they take in all aspects of business and social life of their counties.
Gravity will be the UK’s first commercial smart campus and a blueprint for a ‘cleaner’, smarter future. It aims to attract the world’s most innovative companies working in the ‘clean growth’ sectors.
Expected to create up to 7,500 jobs, the 616-acre Enterprise Zone will be designed to shape connections between people and the places in which they work, supporting a culture of innovation and wellbeing. It will include diverse, flexible workspaces and resilient technologies along with enhanced transport links to, and within, the surrounding area.