Plans to develop a brownfield site on Victoria Road in Douglas would see a campus like facility built which, developers say, would create 300 jobs.
The Excel Group in collaboration with HofmanDujardin, an Amsterdam based Architecture and Interior Design Studio, have submitted the application for part of the former Cunningham’s Camp site after discussions with DEFA.
While the application itself has not yet appeared on the gov’s website, the company behind it, Jade Tree Limited, said it plans to build a new HQ for King Gaming Limited with ‘restaurant, café, collaborative working areas and 66 associated staff accommodation units all set within a landscaped parkland setting’.
If approved and built, the company said the development, which it says is the ‘largest single private investment in the Isle of Man’ will ‘will create more than 300 new jobs to the Isle of Man with significant employment for the construction and associated sectors during the build period’.
It says that the buildings would ‘represent the best of architecture and design and provide an inspirational environment that will showcase the quality of the architecture and aspiration of the Isle of Man as a home for international business’.
Brian Butler, Partner at Bell Burton Associates, Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to announce the submission of this planning application and are grateful to the designers and many other associated professionals who have collaborated on the design of this fantastic development and to the Officers of the Isle of Man Government for their pre-application advice. This development, if approved, will provide a significant investment in the Isle of Man and we are grateful that the investors have chosen the Isle of Man over other jurisdictions. Construction work is scheduled to commence immediately following the receipt of planning approvals.’
John Lee, Company Director at King Gaming Group Limited added: ‘We are really excited with the progress we have achieved to date on the design of our new headquarters on the Isle of Man and that a planning submission has been made. Thanks go to our partners Excel Group, Bell Burton Associates and HofmanDujardin who are working to bring this project to a reality for us. King Gaming group are delighted to keep thriving on the island, our new campus will be a unique development, open to and giving back to the Isle of Man community.’
The site itself is fairly hidden from view by mature trees, it is opposite the former Victoria Road prison and next to Shoprite’s HQ. Since its days as a holiday camp, the site, as part of the wider area, has been recommended for redevelopment several times. And while several of these developments have gone ahead, a quick scan of the planning website will find several potential schemes for office blocks, business science park, a hotel and a business technology park.
More than Buildings
Elke Zinnecker, Chartered Architect and Architectural Director of the Excel Group, commented: ‘From our first dealings with the client, we were aware of the potential of the site and the rare opportunity that this project presents. We were delighted when our designs were chosen by the client, and we have enjoyed our collaboration with HofmanDujardin and look forward to continuing the relationship as they develop what promises to be an exceptional internal environment.
‘Architecture is more than the buildings, it’s about the environment that we provide for people and communities to enable them to strive, this campus demonstrates that when the client shares the vision and ambition of an experienced design team, good architecture is possible here on the Isle of Man.’
And Michiel Hofman, Partner Architect at HofmanDujardin Amsterdam, added: ‘We are very happy to collaborate on the realisation of an iconic and inclusive headquarter campus for King Gaming. The design team works on an inviting and healthy environment that beautifully blends into the natural and built surroundings of the Isle of man. Together, we are creating a unique harmonious experience, from the parkland landscape and campus buildings to the diverse and empowering interiors.’