Funding for Pontio development welcomed

Pontio (argraff pensaer)Pontio (architect's impression)Bangor University has welcomed the announcement of funding for the Pontio development as a tremendous boost for the north Wales economy. This £27.5m investment by the Welsh Assembly Government and European Regional Development Fund, will create and safeguard hundreds of jobs and become a platform from which economic growth in the area can develop.

Professor Fergus Lowe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University, who is leading the project said: “This is great news for Bangor as well as for the whole of Wales and beyond. Pontio will become a hub for the local community, bringing people and businesses together to promote investment and regeneration in north Wales. It will capitalise on local skills and expertise to create and safeguard hundreds of jobs and business opportunities which will all promote economic growth in the region.”

“Pontio will be a world-class centre for innovation in science, technology and the creative industries, and will be a cultural beacon for Wales and a champion of the Welsh language. It will include a dynamic Innovation Hub, cutting-edge teaching and learning facilities and a range of indoor and outdoor performance spaces including a theatre and cinema space, an outdoor amphitheatre, cafés, restaurants and parkland where people can meet, learn and be entertained.

The new building will open early in 2013 and will importantly focus on quality skills that will generate new technologies for businesses in areas as diverse as digital technologies, the creative industries, environmental goods and services, bioscience, advanced software and visualisation amongst many others.  It will also showcase and help to develop a range of world-class research on pressing socio-economic issues, particularly in the areas of health and protection of the environment.

The project is expected to have a positive impact on around 900 jobs: 450 jobs will be created or safeguarded during the construction phase, an additional 100 jobs are expected to be created during the operational stage, and a further 330 jobs sustained through the activities of the Innovation Hub and other Centre activities.

Professor Lowe added:

“The project is ambitious and iconic, and we believe it will have a transformative effect on all the people it touches.  It will provide a Centre of such remarkable innovation and artistic excellence that it is sure to draw the attention of people from near and far, as well as providing new impetus to the growth of the north Wales economy. We are grateful to the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Union for their vision in supporting this crucial project in north Wales.”

“Throughout the Centre, new innovation, teaching and social learning spaces will be created to provide high quality modern educational environments that will benefit students, promote community engagement, and help Welsh businesses to collaborate with Bangor University and capitalize on its knowledge.  Along with teaching and innovation spaces, the Centre will have state-of-the-art digital showcase facilities to enable the display of work using the latest in digital technology.”

Bangor University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hughes said:

“This is a once in a generation chance for Bangor.  We will create an internationally significant Centre for learning, innovation and the performing arts that will be a potent symbol of regeneration and collaboration for the whole community.”

Publication date: 2 December 2010