An extra £10m of funding for SPark, the £300m science park for Bristol and Bath, has been announced today, in preparation for work to start on site this spring.
Combined with the initial funding, the project is the South West Regional Development Agency’s (RDA’s) largest single investment, and means that, subject to final contractual agreements, the first phase can get underway on the Emersons Green site to create one of the UK’s biggest science parks.
Once complete, SPark will bring more than 6,000 research and development jobs, in more than 77,000m2 (820,000ft2) of new research facilities on the 22-hectare site. It is anticipated the construction of SPark will involve more than 1,500 man-years of work.
Work will include building roads and services for the whole science park and starting construction of the 55,000ft2 SPark One building. This will offer a central hub facility, business space, plus catering and conference facilities.
SPark is supported by three universities: Bristol, Bath and the West of England (UWE). Planning permission for the SPark as well as the first phase of works has already been granted by South Gloucestershire Council.
The facility will be one of the largest science parks in the country for science and technology businesses, including test-bed facilities, laboratories, office space and semi-industrial workspace.
The RDA is in negotiations with major organisations and projects, including the National Composites Centre and the CFMS Advanced Simulation Research Centre, which it hopes to bring onto SPark in due course.