New £6.9 million innovation centre at Keele
Effective collaboration between businesses and Keele is critical to underpin innovation-based economic growth across and beyond Staffordshire and the global visibility of Keele is a key asset in driving international investment we are keen to harness."
Construction is due to commence on a new multi-million pound state-of-the art, innovation centre for existing high growth businesses, and new businesses locating to Staffordshire - the first new facility of its kind to be built on this scale in the region for ten years, thanks to a partnership between Staffordshire County Council and Keele University.
The new building will provide over 30,000 sq. ft. of office and workshop accommodation and is expected to create 130 new jobs via the growth of existing businesses and inward investment from international business relocating into Staffordshire. Construction of the centre, the fifth of its kind on the university campus, will commence in May 2015 with completion expected in Spring 2016.
The centre will be located on an established site for future development on the Keele campus. Outline planning for this site has been approved for 13 plots of land with businesses and other partners being offered the opportunity to develop bespoke buildings from 13,000 to 940,000 sq. ft.
Professor Nick Foskett, Keele University Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are delighted to see our long-standing partnership with Staffordshire County Council result in this latest development, which signifies the beginning of a new phase of growth, a tangible demonstration of the continuing commitment the University wishes to make as an increasingly important economic anchor in Staffordshire.
"Effective collaboration between businesses and Keele is critical to underpin innovation-based economic growth across and beyond Staffordshire and the global visibility of Keele is a key asset in driving international investment we are keen to harness."
Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader, Mark Winnington, said: “It is pleasing to be in a position to announce the start date of work on the new innovation centre after we took the decision to invest in the project four years ago. This latest innovation centre will further Keele University's reputation internationally as a prime location for innovation in the medical, technology and engineering sectors. The expansion of the park will lead to an increase in the cluster of this type of industry in Staffordshire and we are confident this can continue to grow. The new innovation centre will add to our drive to attract high quality businesses and jobs and bring real long-term benefits to county.”
This latest innovation centre is a BREEAM ‘good’ rated building offering three floors of flexible open plan units, ranging from 1,000 sq. ft. through to an entire block of 9,000 sq. ft. All three floors will feature state-of-the-art specification with fibre optic internet connectivity. As well as benefiting from on-site facilities management and a range of support services from both the County Council and the Science and Business Park, new tenants to the site will be given access to all academic and research facilities at the University, offering exclusive opportunities for pioneering start-ups, spin-outs and growing international organisations. Talks are already underway with a number of potential tenants.
Notes to editors
• The Keele University campus has become a proven business location for local, national and international companies. With four innovation centres, the campus is currently home to 42 businesses including Siemens Wind Power Research & Development, Navman Wireless Vehicle Tracking Systems, Adecco Enterprise and GVA Acuity Ltd.
. Keele's position as a leading university for research of world class quality and international excellence was confirmed by the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF). It found that 97% of the University's research is classified as world leading and of international importance.
· Staffordshire County Council cabinet members approved an initial £6.1million investment in April 2011, with the remainder committed in September 2013.