Flying start for Menai Science Park

The first tenants moving into the £20m Science Park on Anglesey have been revealed, with a diverse spread of businesses and projects from start-ups to large SMEs, all wanting to innovate and grow.

Menai Science Park (M-SParc), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bangor University, currently has 11 companies ready to move in when the Park opens in early 2018.

M-SParc, a project part funded by European Regional Development Funding through the Welsh Government, aims to provide high quality premises for companies in the science and technology sector, and offer unique The M-Sparc buildingThe M-Sparc buildingsupport packages to each company in order to assist them to grow. M-SParc had a 15% occupancy target for the first year, however early demand has far exceeded expectation and the Park should open with over a third of the building let.

11 companies, ranging from start-ups to large established companies who are involved in the low carbon, ICT and advanced manufacturing sectors, are making arrangements to become the first tenants.  Many of the companies are also linked to Bangor University related R&D or are taking placements and benefiting from that link to the University.

This is very exciting news for both M-SParc and the University. Director Ieuan Wyn Jones said “We set ambitious but realistic targets for tenants coming in on day one, but it’s very pleasing to have exceeded those targets by some margin. Our goal is to help companies grow and we needed to ensure we had the physical space for them to do this within the building. The demand has always been there, but as interest in M-SParc grew so did the demand. It’s heartening to see many of the companies being local to the region, as well as some inward investment, and also to be able to help very new companies in a supportive environment where Business Support is part and parcel of what we offer.”

The start-up companies include Ambionics, a company from Menai Bridge developing life changing technology to create prosthetic arms for children. Ben Ryan, founder of Ambionics, said “Having a place like M-SParc in the region really changes how a company like Ambionics can operate.  The business support I’ve received as a virtual tenant has been invaluable, and I can’t wait to move in and start networking with other like-minded people.”

Other companies include; Geosho, who are software mobile landscape-mapping developers based inCaernarfon; Papertrail from Llanfairfechan, who develop electronic audit trail systems that minimize the need for paper based records and speed up internal processes; Diagnostig, a company which started at Bangor University that is developing a revolutionary TB testing method for bovine and human use; and HET creadigol, a new collaborative Web Design, marketing, and app development company from Anglesey.

Crucially there will also be companies from outside the region, bringing in much needed inward investment to the area.  FarmLab Diagnostics, based in the Republic of Ireland, is a provider of diagnostic testing services, using modern diagnostic techniques, and hope to secure lab space at M-SParc.

The largest tenant will be Loyalty Logistix, a company currently based in Bangor and employing over 50 members of staff developing customer retention and data intelligence services for the automobile industry. 

Bobby Williams, CEO of Loyalty Logistix, said “Our work involves a dedicated team of developers staying on the cutting-edge of this technology, while also maintaining a worldwide customer base.  M-SParc provides the perfect setting to create the right impression for our company, as it is an impressive building.  Its flexible design also means that expanding the company is possible without needing to relocate the business, which is a bonus as this helps with staff retention.  Many of our employees are graduates of Bangor University, and like the idea of being able to work in an area they are familiar with and have enjoyed studying in. 

It’s also great to see that North Wales can be a business hub, and the hive of activity that will surround the building and be present from the moment you walk in will really showcase what we as a region have to offer.”

M-SParc further benefits the regional economy because it has larger units available for resident tenants, who can upscale on site without the need to relocate elsewhere. In turn this releases accommodation for businesses at the early stage of their business cycle. This ‘innovation cycle’ is important in order to encourage and attract new businesses to the region, providing high quality employment for people and diversifying the economy.

Bangor University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John G. Hughes, said: “The new science park is already providing a great opportunity for local people and companies to establish themselves in the area and to benefit from world-leading expertise within the University. I am delighted with the progress made so far, and I look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength as it creates new opportunities and jobs in the region.”

Further information can be found on M-SParc’s website (www.m-sparc.com) or by emailing post@m-sparc.com.  

Publication date: 22 November 2017