Shropshire Star

Newport's agri-tech business park to welcome its first business tenant

Newport's new agricultural tech innovation park has welcomed its first tenant to the site.

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Councillor Richard Overton, deputy leader of Telford & Wrekin Council with HCI Systems Ltd director Mike Tickner

HCI Systems Ltd is the first tenant to move into the Newport Innovation Park (Ni.PARK).

The business has been handed the keys to one of the purpose-built units after Phase One of the Ni.PARK was completed in October.

HCI Systems is Newport-based but has relocated to the new premises to expand and diversify in the agri-tech sector.

The company is a world-leading vehicle electrical systems and wiring specialist with expertise in the motorsport industry but is now working with Harper Adams University to develop new products and services which support autonomous agriculture.

Ni.PARK is an area of land on the outskirts of Newport and Phase One of the project has delivered a range of new industrial units on the site.

The site is especially geared towards agri-tech related businesses as the park is being delivered in association with Harper Adams University.

HCI Systems Ltd director Mike Tickner is delighted to receive the keys to the new premises.

Mike said: “We’re really pleased to be moving into the unit at Ni.PARK which is a new purpose-built home for us.

“It’s the perfect base for our future expansion plans and we were outgrowing our previous site.

“Moving to Ni.PARK will enable us to grow and diversify into new marketplaces and work with, and position ourselves alongside, other agriculture and agri-tech businesses who will be located on the same site.”

HCI Systems is working closely with students at Harper Adams University on a series of agri-tech research projects.

Mike added: “Although we have a strong background in motorsport developing products and solutions for hydrogen and electric vehicles, we also want to focus on the autonomous side of agriculture, working with agri-tech companies to develop new products and solutions.

“Moving to this facility will enable us to do that and we are excited about the future.”

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood services, regeneration and the high street, said: “Ni.PARK is a fantastic development and it’s very pleasing to see HCI Systems moving in as the first business occupier.

“This business continues to expand and we’re delighted it has chosen Ni.PARK as its new home, not far from its previous Newport base.

“The unit will support HCI’s growth plans and is the perfect base for them to deliver new, innovative products and solutions which support the agri-tech sector.”

Vice-chancellor of Harper Adams University, Professor Ken Sloan, said: “HCI is working with Harper Adams University to explore new technologies in wiring systems for drones and robotic machines, thus reducing weight and cost.

“We are keen to help companies such as HCI at Ni.PARK with their innovation and expansion into new technologies to support the agri-tech sector.

“Bringing together academic expertise and industry experience, through our work with Ni.PARK and close collaboration with Telford & Wrekin Council helps forge links which not only benefit our students but also boosts our regional economy.”

In October, Ni.PARK landed the ‘Project of the Year’ title in the over £3 million category at the 2021 Civil Engineers Contractors Association (CECA) Midlands awards in a development delivered by engineering and construction contractor Balfour Beatty.