£10m EU boost for new Menai Science Park (M-SParc)
A £10m EU boost for the development of the new Menai Science Park has been announced by First Minister Carwyn Jones today.
The project, led by Bangor University, has already been awarded £10m from the Welsh Government. The EU funding provides the remainder of the investment needed for the first phase to get underway, constructing a state-of-the-art hub which will focus predominantly on low carbon and renewable energy businesses.
The aim of the Menai Science Park is to encourage collaborations with research organisations on innovative projects and create employment opportunities for local people. It will also complement the Energy Island initiative and the Anglesey Enterprise Zone.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “I am delighted to announce £10m EU Funds for this exciting new Menai Science Park. It will provide a dynamic and supportive environment for low carbon energy businesses in North West Wales, encouraging collaboration in the development of new products, processes and services. The investment will also support job creation, helping secure a sustainable future for Anglesey and contributing to economic growth for the area and the wider Welsh economy.”
Construction is set to begin on the complex at Gaerwen, Anglesey, during summer 2016 with first businesses expected to move in during early 2018.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart added: “The Welsh Government is committed to supporting science and innovation, which is vital to creating economic growth and high-quality jobs. I am very pleased that all the funding is now in place to enable this exciting project to proceed. This new facility will contribute considerably to the local economy and lead to the creation of highly skilled jobs. ”
M-SParc director, Ieuan Wyn Jones, said, “The announcement today, combined with the Welsh Government’s investment is not only a great boost for M-SParc, but also for future scientific endeavour in north Wales.
“We now have the funding in place to deliver a truly unique resource for the region. This will not only offer high value job opportunities locally, but also benefit the whole of the north Wales economy by creating an inspirational work environment to attract local businesses and those looking to relocate to the region.
“This is a really exciting time in the development of the Park. We also now have the first designs for the first building on site as we prepare to submit a full planning application to Anglesey Council before the end of the year. I hope as many local people as possible can attend the public consultation event to see for themselves the vision for the site and get involved with the incredible opportunities offered by this development.”
As part of the planning process, M-SParc will also be holding a public consultation event to display the proposed designs for the first building on site. This will take place on Thursday 29th October between 10.30am-7.30pm in the vestry of Disgwylfa chapel in Gaerwen. Members of the Project Team will be present at the consultation and detail will also be available on the new website, www.m-sparc.com.
Vice Chancellor of Bangor University and Chair of M-SParc, Professor John G. Hughes, said, “M-SParc is gaining momentum and the funding agreement is great news. The park is set to become a fantastic and inspiring place to spark innovation and create a hi-tech economy in the area. Together with the expertise of Bangor University and our ambitious plans to further develop our strengths in science, we are in a strong position to make a big difference to the area.”
M-SParc’s 30-year vision is based on creating highly skilled long-term employment opportunities for local people, developing a knowledge-sharing environment and creating an economic hub in sectors such as low carbon, energy and environment and ICT. The science park would create a bridge between such companies and Bangor University, owners of M-SParc. The project aims to create a unique cluster economy to encourage hi-tech industry and scientific research partnerships in north-west Wales.
Publication date: 22 October 2015