A new ‘Space City’ cluster has been launched in Leicester, that will create one of the largest and most connected Enterprise Zones for space-related activities in the UK.
Space City Leicester represents up to £233 million of investment in new and planned facilities on the former Pioneer Park development to the north of Leicester city centre.
This includes the University of Leicester’s science and innovation hub Space Park Leicester, the award-winning National Space Centre visitor attraction and the flexible working space and high-tech business incubator facilities at Dock and Dock 2.
Workspace will be expanded in the near future to include Dock 3 innovation workspace, and newer industrial and business incubator facilities at Abbey Court.
Space City Leicester is dedicated to space research, production, manufacture and development, and will make Leicester a “key part of the UK’s Space Spine.” The cluster will also be home to non-space related knowledge economy businesses, those working towards decarbonisation, innovative start-ups and established businesses looking for grow on space.
Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester called it “the launchpad for an exciting new chapter in our city’s space history.”
“From its beginnings 60 years ago at the University, we have grown space activity to unlock its huge potential to advance learning, to stimulate inward investment, innovation and growth and to address the challenging problems of our time,” he said.
“Space City Leicester is exciting, it is bold and it is built upon a heritage of success. I would like to thank all our supporters, industrial partners, LLEP and the Leicester City Council for their steadfast commitment to this ambitious endeavour.”
The launch of Space City yesterday (March 14), comes as Space Park Leicester, the city’s hub for space research and innovation, marks the first anniversary of its opening.
Space Park Leicester is forecast to contribute £750 million per year to the UK space sector over the next decade and is expected to support more than 2,500 direct and indirect jobs in the East Midlands.
Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Space City Leicester has put our city firmly on the map for research production and manufacture in the space industry, but the good news doesn’t end there as further expansion is planned to meet the demand from businesses keen to locate here from the UK and overseas.”
“It will create a world-leading cluster of research and development that will bring growth, investment, and many hundreds of jobs to our region,” added Andy Reed OBE, Co-Chair, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).