University of Western Sydney
Werrington Park Corporate Centre
The University of Western Sydney (UWS) will receive $13.5 million to support the development of the $29.5 million Werrington Park Corporate Centre in Penrith. The centre will create a focal point for new employment and new industry sectors in the region and is intended to act as a catalyst for the longer term development of a comprehensive business park in Penrith.
Challenges in the Western Sydney Region
In the early 1990s Western Sydney had a population of nearly 1.5 million people which grew to 1.8 million people in 2006. The draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney estimates this population to increase to 2.9 million by 2036.
Architect image of the Werrington Park Corporate Centre
There are several pressures facing the region as a result of population growth including:
- Up to 30% of the region's workforce travelling outside Western Sydney for work
- Within the local Penrith LGA 63% of the workforce (approx 52,000) leave the LGA each day for work
- Increased commuting times of approximately an hour and fifty minutes spent travelling to and from work each day by a typical regional commuter
- A labour force dominated by jobs in industries with low growth prospects
- A lack of adequate transport infrastructure, particularly in the public transport sector.
These challenges present an opportunity to develop innovative solutions which provide enduring benefits to the entire Western Sydney region. The Werrington Park Corporate Centre will be a cutting edge employment, business incubation and research collaboration facility which will provide a diverse range of employment opportunities for local people, reducing the impacts of the pressures above. But more than that, the Centre will provide a catalyst for further investment and development of a University based business park in the area, creating sustainable, long term positive benefits leveraging existing regional capabilities.
What is the Werrington Park Corporate Centre?
The Werrington Park Corporate Centre will be a three-storey, premium grade facility that will be located at the main entry of the UWS Penrith campus, prominently fronting the Great Western Highway. The centre will provide approximately 6000 square metres of employment space and adjoining infrastructure. A range of commercial office and research collaboration spaces will be made available and the centre will also house a Specialised Business Incubator and serviced offices.
The centre is strategically located within Penrith Council's long defined Werrington Enterprise, Learning and Living (WELL) Precinct and forms part of the Penrith Health and Education Precinct, which is identified as a specialised employment precinct in the NSW Government's draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney.
The building will be five-star Greenstar rated, with a large, attractively landscaped, stormwater detention basin constructed adjacent to the new building for irrigating landscaping, managing stormwater and providing local amenity. The centre will be sustainably designed and will include the use of high quality environmentally responsible building materials and a range of sustainable design features to minimise the building environmental impact and reduce energy usage and running costs. The building will be the first five-star Greenstar rated development in the Penrith LGA.
Construction of the centre is expected to commence in mid July 2013 and be completed in early 2015.
How will the Werrington Park Corporate Centre address issues in the region?
The Werrington Park Corporate Centre will provide a space for business incubation and collaboration, focussing on attracting enterprises in the e-health, digital communications and intelligent engineering sectors. This will strengthen the ties between UWS and industry, attract new employers to the area and facilitate the establishment and growth of those industries.
The provision of employment infrastructure and office space will promote high quality professional employment opportunities, retain graduates from the university within Western Sydney and provide opportunities for well paid employment to skilled local residents. The provision of local jobs helps to reduce traffic related pressures such as congestion and long commute times. The University of Western Sydney is partnering with Penrith City Council and the Penrith Business Alliance for this project.
How will the Werrington Park Corporate Centre demonstrate the opportunities of the digital economy?
Industries being targeted for this centre include e-Health, Digital Communications and Arts and Intelligent Engineering. They are complementary to UWS research and teaching roles currently at the Penrith campus. For example the UWS School of Humanities and Communication Arts is located adjacent to the proposed development site and operates Western Sydney's only community television station, TVS. This project will aim to exploit the opportunities for investment attraction and diffusion of commercial opportunities between the station and private enterprise.
The digital economy will enable these industries to develop and assist in retaining professionals and entrepreneurs in the region. The use of teleworking will also be explored by companies moving to the centre. The development will be fully technology-enabled with high speed broadband connectivity and a range of state of the art internal building systems and user technologies available. The Specialised Business Incubator will provide space for start up businesses and home based businesses as they expand. The technology and connectivity provided in the Werrington Park Corporate Centre will support these businesses and assist in their day to day operations.
For further information about the Werrington Park Corporate Centre please contact:
The University of Western Sydney, Campus Development Unit
Suburban Jobs Team
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601