Minister says new Sci-Tech Daresbury’s developments will boost Northern Powerhouse
The Minister for the Northern Powerhouse has praised Sci-Tech Daresbury’s world class capability in science and innovation during a visit to the region.
James Wharton’s comments came as he saw the latest developments at Sci-Tech Daresbury in Halton, one of two national science and innovation campuses incorporating an enterprise zone, bringing together leading edge science with high-tech business.
The Minister toured the new Techspace development, an office and specialist laboratory complex for SMEs and visited Vanguard House, a major facility providing office, laboratory and workshop space for high-growth businesses, while also seeing the full extent of the Campus masterplan that will deliver over 1m sq ft of high tech space.
“This Government remains committed to rebalancing the economy through creating a Northern Powerhouse – and playing to our strengths in science and technology will have a key role.
“The new facilities I’ve seen today will further boost this globally-recognised science and enterprise destination, helping to attract more jobs and investment to the North.”
Private-public sector partners in the joint-venture partnership are developers Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and Halton Borough Council.
More than 120 science and research organisations and high-tech businesses are located at the campus and have already developed strong clusters in several fields including: Advanced engineering & materials, Biomedicine, Digital/ICT, Energy, Environment and Security.
It is home to the STFC Hartree Centre, a world-class centre of excellence in high performance computing; the Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) and the Cockcroft Institute; the STFC CERN Business Incubation Centre, which is turning high energy physics into innovative products and services and SuperSTEM, one of the world’s highest-resolution electron microscopes and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
As of April 2016, Daresbury companies support 547 FTE jobs with 87 FTE jobs created in 2015 and an estimated further 186 to be created in 2016, while campus investment to date stands at £82m.
John Downes, Managing Director of Langtree and Chairman of the Sci-Tech Daresbury Joint Venture, said:
“It’s clear that centres of innovation and enterprise such as that here at Daresbury can play a critical part in ambitions to rebalance the UK economy and drive forward the Powerhouse vision.
“Science and technology are, increasingly, driving growth in the north of England, creating high value jobs and fuelling international collaboration and investment.
“Sci-Tech Daresbury is the perfect example of where government and the private sector can and must come together to drive growth and we have relished this opportunity to explain to the minister how our current and future plans help meet the government’s ambition.”