Thousands of jobs will be created and Wiltshire will be firmly at the forefront of the science and technology industries when a new state-of-the-art science park is built thanks to a successful £10m bid for Government funding.
Wiltshire Council and a joint development company comprising Trebor Developments LLP and Wrenbridge Land Limited were successful in a joint bid to develop a science park at Porton, which will create more than 2,000 jobs over a 10-year-period and bring national and international investment into the area.
The Porton Science Park will be based near leading scientific institutions, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) at the Porton Down site, near Salisbury.
It will provide facilities for science and research based industries and could attract £70m of private sector investment in the next 10 years. The development is expected to attract high levels of investment from both the UK and foreign bioscience and healthcare.
Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said: “This is another example of how Wiltshire is open for business and how vital it is to take every opportunity to boost our economy. Our workforce, travel links and public and private sector partnerships make this county a great place in which to invest and we are seeing this time and time again.
“This is really good news for the whole of Wiltshire as the Porton Science Park will lead the way in the science and technology industry. It will mean more jobs for local people and more investment into this county and its communities. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this successful multi-million pound bid.”
The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have been supporting the bid and chairman Paul Johnson said: “The LEP has identified the Life Sciences as a sector with great potential for growth and supporting development of the Porton Science Park is one of our priorities – the RGF bid had our full, unqualified support.
“We are delighted that Wiltshire Council, with its development partners, has been successful with this RGF bid and will continue to actively support roll-out of the scheme. The hard work starts now and we will be giving our full support to the development of the investment offer so that businesses come forward with the investment to make it the success story of the decade in south Wiltshire ”
The successful bid for £10m funding from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will help kick-start the first phase of the total science park project creating the infrastructure for the planned 355,000 sq ft science park and a new 23,000 sq ft innovation centre.