Queen Margaret University (QMU) has appointed the UK’s leading knowledge economy consultancy CAM-SCI to advise on a development strategy for the land around its Musselburgh campus. As one of the largest employers in East Lothian, the University has a pivotal role in driving innovation and creating future prosperity for East Lothian and the wider Scottish economy. As part of its vision for local and regional social and economic development, QMU is keen to protect land adjacent to its campus for the development of specialist facilities to support businesses in high-growth innovation sectors.
Cambridge-based CAM-SCI has a strong track record in guiding some of the UK’s most successful innovation and science parks from concept development through to funding and delivery. The consultancy started as a spin out of the Cambridge Science Park and has gone on to deliver many of the UK’s leading commercial parks and specialist facilities. CAM-SCI has recently delivered a flag-ship science park for Liverpool that, in three phases, has attracted over 80 high-growth companies and has created a dynamic economic cluster for the city region. CAM-SCI is currently working with a number of important new developments in UK including economic regeneration of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a priority project of London Mayor Boris Johnson; and delivery of the new £50m Thames Valley Science Park for the University of Reading.
QMU has retained CAM-SCI to support development of its vision for the land immediately adjacent to the campus to develop a dynamic business centre and employment hub by providing specialist facilities and services for companies in high-growth sectors. The university’s development strategy is also to provide a commercial hub to deliver retail and leisure facilities for students, staff and the surrounding local communities.
Commenting on CAM-SCI’s appointment, QMU Principal Professor Petra Wend said: “’CAM-SCI’s wealth of experience in developing science and innovation parks will be invaluable in guiding our concept for an exciting knowledge exchange and business park around the university. We envisage a thriving commercial community, anchored around QMU flagships of academic excellence that will provide sustainable employment opportunities and facilities for businesses to grow. In due course, we will, of course, consult with the community on the ideas developed through CAM-SCI”.
In its response to East Lothian Council’s Main Issues Report (MIR) setting out options for the Local Development Plan, QMU emphasised that sustainable commercial development providing employment that could rejuvenate the community will not happen unless the A1 junction at QMU is completed to the standard that was intended when the University moved to Musselburgh in 2007.
Dr Sarah Tasker, CAM-SCI Director says: ’We are delighted to be working with Queen Margaret University to deliver the University’s vision for a vibrant and impactful commercial knowledge-cluster adjacent to the University. QMU is already committing significant resources to support and grow some of Scotland’s high-growth industry sectors and has gained a national and international reputation for excellence in applied research. An Innovation Park that provides a home for companies emerging from, and working with the University is a natural next step in the University’s vision and strategy for industry engagement and social and economic relevance. CAM-SCI’s specialist approach and wide experience of successful delivery to this sector will ensure a high-value development for QMU and the community it serves.