Business and Economy

Exeter Science Park Centre planning application submitted

Posted on: 28 June 2012

Detailed plans for the flagship building at Exeter Science Park have been proposed.

The £7 million Science Park Centre will enable growing businesses to flourish, offering a unique collaborative environment for innovation and business support. It will provide a range of highly flexible accommodation for high growth, science-based organisations including managed desk space, offices, workshops and laboratories as well as other facilities such as seminar rooms and a cafe.

Councillor Will Mumford, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Enterprise and Employment, said: “The Centre is the cornerstone of the first phase of the Science Park. It will provide a home for science-based entrepreneurs as well as subsidiaries of larger organisations seeking growth through working with the knowledge-base. The primary objective of the Centre is to encourage expansion of individual businesses so that they out-grow the Centre and seek their own premises on the Park”

The application comes just days after the first planning submission for Exeter Science Park, by Eagle One, who are the developers of Phase One of the site. Its plans are for its own office space plus 5,000 sq ft of accommodation which will function as “Grow-on space” for the Science Park Centre.

The first phase also includes plans for a 150 bed business hotel and conference centre. In addition the first phase will have around 40,000 sq ft of other space for science-based organisations on the site.

The Science Park will play a key role in helping the economy of the Exeter and the wider area to grow and diversify through the development of knowledge-based businesses, capitalising on links with the University of Exeter, the new University of Exeter Medical School, the Met Office and Rothamsted Research, North Wyke.

Councillor Graham Godbeer, Economy Portfolio Holder at East Devon District Council, said: “I welcome significant progress on the Science Park Centre and the efforts of the public and private partnership that is bringing the Science Park about. East Devon is proud to have this important knowledge business centre in the district and we look forward to seeing high skilled jobs and innovative enterprises developing as a result.”

Organisations from any industrial sector can be located on the Science Park providing they meet the “Gateway Policy” which ensures that businesses are developing science and technology. Science parks usually help guide the growth of such companies through relationships with the local knowledge base and in Exeter there are considerable strengths in scientific research into climate change and sustainable futures, medicine and healthcare, biosciences, advanced materials and manufacturing, and food security.

Exeter Science Park has the potential to create up to 3,000 jobs and attract up to £200 million of private sector investment in its first 20 years. It is a partnership between Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, the Met Office, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the University of Exeter.

Peter Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council, commented: “This application for the Science Park Centre is of great significance not just for the economy of the Exeter area but also as a project where the shareholders have worked together in close partnership.”

Work is currently on-going to upgrade Junction 29 of the M5 in order to accommodate the additional traffic expected to be generated by the Science Park and the other developments proposed for the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point which include Cranbrook, Sky Park and expansion of the airport. The infrastructure works at Junction 29 are expected to be completed in late Summer 2012.

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