Thousands of jobs forecast for expanding Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park
30 January 2013
Loughborough University has announced that ambitious proposals for an expanded Science and Enterprise Park are being developed with local partners. The project brings the exciting prospect of a substantial long term boost for the local economy and employment.
The project has the backing of Leicestershire County Council and Charnwood Borough Council, as well as the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, who all recognise the importance of expansion of the Science and Enterprise Park for strategic economic development.
Expansion opportunities will be created for growing local businesses and the Park will also attract national and international inward investment. Developments on the site will be supported by financial backing from a range of private and public sponsors. An initial financial boost for the project is anticipated in the next two weeks when the Cabinets of both Leicestershire County Council and Charnwood Borough Council will make decisions on financial support for the project of £1.5 million and £0.5 million respectively.
The successful development of the Science and Enterprise Park has been underway for many years, with the most recent addition being SportPark, opened in 2010. Whilst the whole project will be developed over the next 15 to 25 years, discussions are at an advanced stage for the next two buildings.
Professor Robert Allison, Vice Chancellor of Loughborough University comments: “The University’s Science and Enterprise Park combines the benefits of a purpose-built corporate environment with a complementary research and development base and skilled workforce supply – made possible by its location on the western side of the University campus. We are delighted with the success of the Science and Enterprise Park. Taking the next steps now will provide a timely and significant boost for the Loughborough and Leicestershire economy.”
Nick Rushton, Leader of the County Council, said: “I would like to congratulate Loughborough University on its ambitious plans for the expansion of the Science and Enterprise Park. It is absolutely right that the local authorities support the University. The County Council has increased its investment in supporting the local economy, and I will be supporting the recommendation to the Council’s Cabinet on February 6 that up to £1.5 million be invested in this flagship project, which I am confident will further enhance the University’s international reputation and can only benefit Loughborough and the whole county.”
Councillor David Slater, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “We will be asking the Council’s Cabinet to approve the funding for this exciting project on February 14.
“It knits perfectly with our own regeneration plans and our Corporate Plan aim to help the Borough grow and prosper.
“This partnership with the University and the County Council promises good quality jobs which would help the economic development of the town and would enable us to invest in the future of the people of Loughborough.”
Situated at the west end of the campus, Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park is one of the largest in the UK, with 63,000m²of floor space. It provides a home to 40 tenant partners and has a combined workforce of around 2000.
Outline planning permission has already been agreed for a 7.8 hectare site adjacent to the A512 where the first projects under development will be located. In the longer term further expansion on 22 hectares of land also owned by the University, bounded by the A512 to the north and Snell’s Nook Lane to the west, is also anticipated.
When fully developed the Science and Enterprise Park will provide up to 200,000m² of floor space and house businesses employing as many as 6,000 people, of which about 4000 could be new jobs. The project will secure Loughborough’s future as a centre for knowledge based high growth industry.
The priorities for the University and its partners in the coming months will be to complete plans for the next projects for the site and to develop a marketing strategy to allow the full potential of the scheme to be realised.