A collaborative project in the Hawke’s Bay, which will see a hub for the region’s food, beverage and agri-tech sector, is one step closer to development.
The Hawke’s Bay Food Innovation Hub, designed by the Chow:Hill team, has been given the go-ahead to progress to the first phase of development.
The innovative venue is a strategic regional project, championed by the Hastings District Council and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment which announced it would invest $12m from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) into the initiative.
Stuart Mackie, Chow:Hill Auckland director, said the ethos of the hub, which is to be a collaborative environment that fosters innovation and partnership within the country’s most innovative thinkers in the food, beverage and agri-tech sector, provided significant input for the design of the building.
“We wanted to design a hub that paid homage to the greater Hawke’s Bay region and reflected the trends and opportunities within the sector,” Stuart explains. “The hub has a key focus on environmentally sustainable packaging, plant-based production and waste stream utilisation – all of which sit closely with Chow:Hill’s sustainability focus. The aim was also for the design to demonstrate a strong connection to the landscape within which it sits and which is the basis of food production in its many forms.”
The ambitious vision of the hub is also reflected in Chow:Hill’s design of the building.
“We wanted to design a hub that paid homage to the greater Hawke’s Bay region and reflected the trends and opportunities within the sector”
“To showcase such an innovative building takes architectural design that speaks to the building purpose,” says Stuart. “For our team, designing buildings that will shape our country’s future, is where we find true inspiration. When we listened to the needs of the Food Innovation Hub, it was clear we needed to create innovative and open spaces which provided interest to people and encouraged involvement. The design has created places to both work together and share knowledge.”
Chow:Hill’s design proposes the use of natural materials and a modern design aesthetic to reinforce the hub’s position as a centre of excellence for food in New Zealand. “We’ve incorporated a combination of materials that reflect the location and purpose of the building in an authentic way,” explains Stuart.
With the $12 million secured from the Provincial Growth Fund, the next phase of the project is to raise $6m from investors. The governance group, which includes councils, Plant and Food Research, Iwi, the NZ Food Innovation Network (NZFIN), EIT, the University of Waikato and Business Hawke’s Bay, wants to see the Food Innovation Hub unlock the region’s potential and become a centre of excellence for training people in food processing. It is projected that the hub, which has been described by Hastings District Council economic development manager, Lee Neville, as a game changer for the food and agri-tech industries in the region, will contribute over $100 million in regional GDP and create more than 500 jobs over the next 10 years.
Construction of the Food Innovation Hub is expected to begin in September 2020 and is due for completion by December 2022.
February 26, 2020