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New £10 million Science Centre open for business

The University of Wolverhampton showcased its investment in a new £10 million Science Centre addition on its Science Park, to potential tenants recently.

Almost 50 visitors toured the new three-storey Science, Technology and Prototyping facility which was recently completed by Clegg Construction and provides a unique combination of laboratory, workshop and high-specification office spaces.

Science and technology-based businesses looking to relocate or expand their activities into the Midlands were invited to take a tour of the modern work spaces, workshops and Category 1 and 2 laboratories as part of Wolverhampton Business Week.

The new Science Centre, based at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park in Glaisher Drive, will focus on aerospace, automotive, building technology and life-science sectors along with their associated supply-chains.


Nigel Babb, University of Wolverhampton Science Park Commercial Director, said: “The new centre will offer unrivalled specialist space to scientific-based businesses wanting to develop and enhance their research and development activities.

“Not only are we offering a unique set of resources for businesses in the area – offices, workspace and category 1 and 2 laboratories, we are offering tenants access to students, graduates and researchers as well as opportunities to collaborate with other tenants in a science specific community.”

Dr Kally Kaur, Managing Director of Watstech, currently based at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park, said: “The facilities are definitely state-of-the-art and the new building is another step up which will attract new technology companies.

“Due to business expansion we are looking to relocate our offices and the new building would allow us to create a bespoke workspace with access to unrivalled facilities in the area.”

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Modern Manufacturing

Manufacturing used to conjure up images of simple production lines churning out large quantities of products, sometimes variable in quality, for one-time sale. However today, manufacturing is a far more complex and detailed continuum involving high degrees of creativity, innovation, R&D, logistics and post purchase customer service along a much broader product-life cycle. Manufacturing will always be an important element in the success for UK plc, even more so for the Midlands, often at the heart of the global supply chain.

A significant proportion of manufacturing firms expect design and development to be their most important source of comparative advantage. In order to support this innovation in continued product / market development, it is important for the right mix of components to be present: research and development expertise, skilled and creative staff, collaborative work environments, access to specialist skills and facilities, etc. Such a mix can be found in the Midlands and will soon be complemented further with the opening of the new Science, Technology & Prototyping Centre at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park, due to open in summer 2017.

With a focus on the Smart Specialisation sectors for the Black Country: aerospace, automotive, construction and life sciences, the new £10.1M facility will provide high quality resources for science-based businesses, including those in the High Value Manufacturing supply chain. For the first time, Category 1 and Category 2 laboratories will be available for firms operating from the Science Park. There will also be some smaller laboratories, fitted out and ready to hire on short term agreements, to help businesses / entrepreneurs get over those initial financial and infrastructure barriers when looking to get their new products to market quickly.

Resident businesses will also be able to benefit from access to a number of specialist facilities located less than a mile away at the University’s new £21M Rosalind Franklin Science Centre, where highly skilled students, graduates and staff are also available to help drive innovative ideas forward.

Another benefit is the ability to work with one, or more, of the university’s 14 Research Centres, all of which had elements of their research rated as world-leading by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework; demonstrating the positive impact their research has in the real world.

If you would like to find out more about this exciting development please contact Lynsey Whitfield Lynsey.Whitfield@wlv.ac.uk or e-mail enquiries@wolverhamptonsp.co.uk to be kept up to date with developments and added to our mailing list.

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A Science Park for the Next Generation

The University of Wolverhampton Science Park has been supporting businesses from science, technology, knowledge-based and creative sectors through every stage of their development for over two decades and has become known as one of the region’s most vibrant technology communities.

The geographical site has had close links to industry and enterprise, employing significant numbers from the local community for many years. The previous occupant of the site was the Electric Construction Company (ECC) who started construction of the first purpose-built factory for electrical engineering construction works in 1888. The site covered 23 acres and employed over 700 people in 1895. The works closed in 1985, were demolished in 1986, and replaced by the development of Phase 1 of the current Science Park in 1994, after 2 years of land remediation. Further expansion of the current Science Park occurred in 2000 and again in 2004.

With the Black Country area still having some economic performance statistics below the national average, the concept of Smart Specialisation has been adopted by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership to address this. The result is a regional focus on sectors such as aerospace, automotive, construction and life sciences. The University of Wolverhampton is well positioned with research, knowledge-exchange programmes and student/graduate placements applicable to these sectors to help businesses capitalise on this focus. The University’s recent £21M investment in the Rosalind Franklin science centre will develop science-based graduates that can help firms exploit opportunities in these Smart Specialisation sectors. However, the Black Country is limited in access to the high quality workshop and laboratory space required to attract inward investment by firms in these sectors.

The new Science, Technology and Prototyping Centre, due for completion in Summer 2017, will address this need for appropriate business infrastructure and accommodation. This latest phase of development at the Science Park will provide Category 1 & 2 laboratories, workshops and offices. The result, unrivalled specialist space for scientific-based businesses wanting to develop and enhance their research and development activities, supported by the University of Wolverhampton’s research, academic and graduate expertise – helping to provide a real competitive edge for businesses via collaboration. The new £10.1M facility is funded by the University of Wolverhampton and a £4.8M grant from the Black Country Growth Deal.

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Midlands construction company bags science build contract

The University of Wolverhampton has appointed Midlands Company, Clegg Construction, to build its new £10.1 million Science, Technology and Prototyping Centre at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park – providing capacity for up to forty new businesses focused on science and technology based activities.

The new state-of-the-art, three storey development will offer 4,000 square metres of space, featuring high specification laboratories, workshops and offices – a combination of facilities not currently available in the Black Country.

The project has been part-funded through a £4.8 million grant from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as part of the Growth Deal with the remaining £5.3 million invested by the University of Wolverhampton.

The University of Wolverhampton Science Park is currently home to over 80 businesses employing over 500 people and working across a broad range of technological and creative disciplines.  Opened in 1995 as a joint venture between the University and Wolverhampton City Council, the site has benefited from two previous expansions in 2000 and 2004.

Nigel Babb, Commercial Director (University of Wolverhampton Science Park), said: “It’s great to have a Midlands construction company on board for this exciting project. Work is due to start on the new development early in the new year and we expect the centre to be fully operational by Summer 2017.”

Simon Blackburn, Managing Director at Clegg Construction, said:  “We were really pleased to win the contract to deliver such an exciting redevelopment programme in the Black Country.  We provide a range of construction services for the public and private industries and have a strong track record along with substantial experience of working in the education sector. We are committed, as part of the contract, to offering real work experience opportunities for apprentices and students currently studying at the University.”

For more information about the new facilities on offer check out the website:  http://www.wolverhamptonsp.co.uk/ or contact Lynsey Whitfield at lynsey.whitfield@wlv.ac.uk.

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