A WORLD class Runcorn science centre is to share £100 million of Government funding to help generate 10,000 new jobs.
Sci-Tech Daresbury is to receive up to £3.58m from the Enterprise Zone Capital Grant fund.
This internationally-recognised national centre that fosters relationships between science, innovation and industry, is home to more than 100 high-tech companies, many of whom are expanding and moving into new premises.
Some 163 jobs have been located into the Enterprise Zone since April 2012, including include Lockheed Martin, LPW Technology, Perceptive Engineering, Enhanced Hydrocarbon Technologies, Inventya and ac & e.
Kris Hopkins, Local Growth Minister, said: “The Sci-Tech Daresbury Enterprise Zone is a real hotspot for science and technology. We are now investing an extra £3.5 million to ensure the Zone has the infrastructure it needs to bring even more businesses to the area and allow the zone to fulfill its ambition of creating 10,000 local jobs in the next 20 years.
“This is part of our long term economic plan to back business and enterprise right across the country, and it will help Daresbury to prosper and create more jobs for its hardworking people.”
John Downes, director of Sci-Tech Daresbury’s joint venture company said: “The Enterprise Zone status at Sci-Tech Daresbury is a great example of how strategic government intervention can play a key role in economic regeneration through investment in major opportunities with high growth potential.
“Sci-Tech Daresbury is a joint venture between Langtree, Halton Borough Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council and it is the effective working of this private/public partnership that has given the government the confidence to invest in Sci-Tech Daresbury because of its ability to deliver real results and drive the collaboration between high-tech business and government-funded science.
“We are delighted to receive this award of up to £3.58m from the Enterprise Zone Capital Grant fund. This comes on top of £7.36m of funding already approved from the regional growth fund last year and both awards form part of a total investment package in the region of £30m that will commence on site at Sci-Tech Daresbury this year. We are very excited about our imminent investment proposals and there is no doubt that they will be a key milestone in the further development of the campus.”
Paula Cain, chief executive of Halton Chamber said: “This is tremendous news for Sci-Tech Daresbury, the Halton borough and also the region as a whole. There is no doubt that the partnership created by Langtree, Halton Borough Council and STFC, has been a resounding success, not least in its ability to secure investment through public funding and create additional jobs. This latest award is indeed testimony to the hard work that has taken place by all parties involved over a number of years as well as the degree of confidence that exists within government for the potential for Sci-Tech Daresbury to continue to deliver significant results in the future.
“Already we have over 100 science and technology businesses located at Sci-Tech Daresbury. The further development of the site will undoubtedly make the campus an extremely attractive location for new occupiers looking to co-locate next to other like-minded businesses in a high quality, sustainable and collaborative environment.”
The funding for road building, refurbishment, utility supply and land clearance will mean that 3.5 million square metres of land is brought back into use and 124,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace will be created by 2015. In addition 10km of new road and two new bridges will be constructed, reducing congestion for residents and increasing the access to new Enterprise Zone sites for business.