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Investment in METEOR aligns with Space Park Plans
Aug 12 2019 Read 412 Times
The new Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and Earth Observation Research Centre (METEOR) at the University of Leicester has received nearly £14 million in funding through Round 6 of Research England’s flagship capital investment scheme, the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). This funding will leverage a further £50 million of investments in space and Earth observation (EO) research in Leicester. The Centre will revolutionise how satellites are conceived, designed, operated and produced, as well as how data derived from them is interpreted and used to solve real world problems.
METEOR will be a key part of Space Park Leicester, a new, world-leading research, innovation and teaching hub that will bring together academic research, including from the University of Leicester and industrial space and Earth observation R&D. Planning permission for the first phase of construction of the Space Park was approved at the end of July. The £100 million Park will create a highly collaborative commercial and academic community with planned, flexible accommodation to cater for established multi-national businesses right through to the smallest start-up company. It is anticipated that Space Park Leicester will create more than 2,500 high-value jobs. Construction at the John Ellis site is expected to start in the autumn and will be completed by late 2020. The development will be delivered by the University of Leicester, working closely with Leicester City Council, the National Space Centre and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP). A £8.175m grant from the Local Growth Fund was allocated by the LLEP to support the development of the site. There has also been a £1.5m contribution from the Natural Environment Research Council.
Professor Edmund Burke, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester said: “Securing planning permission for the new development confirms Leicester’s international reputation in the space sector. The new development is quite literally the building blocks to creating a leading ’Space City’, which will create jobs and help to drive the UK space economy.
“The UK Space sector has huge potential for growth, with a current value of £14.2bn and productivity three times the national average. Anyone interested in working in the world of space will be able to do so from this world-leading hub for research and commercialisation.”
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