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Green light for new cafe at Farnborough Aerospace Centre

Ascent Farnborough, the contemporary office community within Farnborough Aerospace Centre, and Hale Architects have officially secured planning consent for an inventive on-site box café.

The international business of Federated Hermes has allocated investment for the café facility, which will be housed within a 20ft shipping container at the leading business park.

The box café development has been designed with sustainability and efficiency in mind, sourcing and recycling an existing structure to provide a unique, impermanent solution.

Hale Architects, also credited with the design of the fully refurbished Ascent 1 and 4 buildings, developed the now-approved vision for the unique and inviting café space to enhance the on-site experience for tenants as they return to the working environment.

To drastically reduce waste and energy consumption, components of the box café will be constructed and installed off-site, with the development to be eventually craned onto location at the business park. There are also plans to relocate and repurpose the container at Ascent Farnborough following its use as a café solution, to make use of the structure’s industrial durability and long lifespan.

An accessible amenity to all four of Ascent’s office buildings, the box café will incorporate indoor and outdoor seating, a raised decking area, glazed canopy, and landscaped planters, with high-quality timber and sandstone finishes throughout, and sufficient space for social distancing.

Stephen Ellis, Senior Investment Manager, International Business of Federated Hermes, said, “With a string of new companies signing to join Ascent Farnborough, we are continually investing into the scheme to provide convenient amenities for occupants as they return to the office environment.

“Alongside initiatives such as Ascent’s BREEAM benchmarks and the electric vehicle charging points, sustainability is high on the agenda across the business park and a key priority for this development.

'This new facility also forms part of Ascent’s many community engagement initiatives, including pop-up stores and wellbeing activities, which are just as important as the office space itself.

“As we progress Ascent’s permanent café fixture, this unique solution will provide space for the connection and engagement which people have sorely missed while working remotely throughout lockdown.”

Ascent is currently home to the corporate headquarters of international firms such as BAE Systems, Zurich, and Discover Financial Services, and has recently secured new signings with global software company Infor, pensions administrator Trafalgar House and leading supply chain specialist Pelican Procurement Services.