Work officially started today on the latest phase of Middlesbrough’s ambitious Boho campus.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston was joined on site by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Partnerships and Business Development Director Amanda Grimbleby of M-AR Off Site to get construction on Boho 8 under way.

The £2.3 million project – backed by Local Growth Fund funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority – builds on the hugely successful Boho quarter, and is the first development within Middlesbrough’s Digital City project.

The bespoke modular units will provide additional space for rapidly expanding companies in Boho 1 and Boho 5, as well as attracting new digital and creative businesses to the area.

The four one-to-three storey bespoke designed modular cantilevered buildings range from 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft and will be delivered by main contractor M-AR Off Site, with completion due in winter.

The development to the rear of Boho 1 will be complemented by modern contemporary external communal space with a high street feel.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Middlesbrough is firmly on track to becoming the digital city of the UK, and Boho 8 is another leap towards that ambition.

“It’s another step in a £250 million investment in this flourishing sector which is already putting Middlesbrough on the map nationally and internationally.

“Boho is a key digital and creative hotspot, and it symbolises the sort of aspiration and ambition that will deliver jobs and prosperity for many years to come.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Our fantastic digital businesses are continuing to go from strength to strength. 

“As we start recovering from the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus this development will support my plan for jobs by bringing new, world-leading companies to the region and helping home-grown talent grow and thrive.  

“I’m delighted to be supporting Mayor Preston’s vision to see Middlesbrough become the UK’s digital powerhouse and there’s plenty more to come for this inspiring and important scheme.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP said: “I am delighted we have reached the latest milestone of this ambitious project which will cement Middlesbrough’s growing reputation as a thriving hub for the digital sector – backed by up to £2million in Government funding through the Local Growth Fund.

“This funding will give vital support to the Digital City project, attracting more jobs into the area, helping Middlesbrough’s digital and creative sectors to grow and ensuring the area continues to be a great place to live, work and study.”

M-AR Off Site Partnerships and Business Development Director Amanda Grimbleby said: “We are proud to be able to deliver this exciting and prestigious ‘Modern Methods of Construction’ project at Boho in collaboration with Middlesbrough Council.

“Whilst we start on site here today in Middlesbrough, we also commence the off site construction simultaneously in our factory in preparation to deliver 18 individual lorry loads of 49m2 modules to the site at the end of September with completion of the project in winter.

“This just demonstrates the speed in which off site construction can accelerate the delivery of such projects and this has all been able to happen during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The innovative design will provide light, bright and inspiring office spaces for ambitious and creative digital businesses in the region and being part of making this happen is inspiring in itself”.