Congratulations from the School to all those involved in developing Space Park Leicester, as the keys to the pioneering £100 million research, innovation and teaching hub for space-related high-tech companies and researchers in Leicester have been handed over following the completion of the first phase of building work.
From the Space Park Leicester press release: Developed by the University of Leicester in collaboration with local, national and international partners, the project will deliver a 4,800m2 facility comprising offices, shared laboratories, teaching facilities and co-working spaces, focussing primarily on research, development and applications of space. Representatives from construction company Bowmer + Kirkland today handed over the keys, marking a significant milestone in the completion of the first phase of the project, which is scheduled to open in the summer.
Speaking today, Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester, said:
“We are very excited to reach this major milestone in our exciting Space Park Leicester project, which brings us one step closer to seeing the first space scientists, researchers and business minds moving in to this brand-new facility.
“Space Park Leicester will reaffirm our city’s place as a hub for the UK space sector and serves as another example of the University’s commitment to world-changing, ground-breaking research, as we contribute to science not only on our planet, but beyond.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate all of the colleagues and organisations who have helped in driving this project to this point, and I look forward to welcoming our first co-location partners later this year.”
Grant Bourhill, Chief Executive of Space Park Leicester, said: “The global space sector is expanding significantly, with some forecasts predicting a $1 trillion industry by 2040. Leicester has six decades of experience of space science, as well as the largest grouping of space-related researchers of any institution in the UK. With Space Park, we are aiming to leverage that capability and capacity to attract and grow space and space-enabled businesses. This will bring jobs to the East Midlands as well as create expanded opportunities for students and the wider community.”
Steve Chambers, Bowmer + Kirkland Regional Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be handing over stage one of this magnificent facility. Given that the past 12 months have been challenging, it is a remarkable achievement for the entire project team to achieve a successful handover and am sure that the teamwork and hard work from everyone involved with this scheme will see a successful conclusion to the next phase of the Space Park.”
Space Park Leicester will enable collaboration between University researchers and the private sector, creating high quality knowledge-based jobs, building the skills base and contributing to economic growth and resilience of the economy. The project is being led by the University of Leicester in partnership with Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
Phase one development at Space Park Leicester is supported by an £8.175m allocation from the Local Growth Fund, part of government funding awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) for projects that benefit the local area and economy. The second phase of the development, also for collaborative work between industry and academia, will provide state of the art laboratories and workshops focussed on Artificial Intelligence and robot-assisted satellite production. The second phase is currently being built, with completion scheduled for Autumn.