A £10m funding package has been secured to begin developing the next stage of Lincoln Science & Innovation Park. This follows its success in creating high-level employment and attracting millions of pounds of investment into the city since it was founded in 2012.
The funding will accelerate the development of the second phase of the Park, doubling its current seven-acre, city centre site. It will offer premises to growing companies as well as bespoke buildings for sole occupancy by medium and large knowledge-intensive businesses.
Funding contributors include the European Regional Development Fund, Midlands Engine, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and the Park’s founding partners; the University of Lincoln and the Lincolnshire Co-op.
The first development is already under way and set to be completed in the autumn. The £3m building will provide high-tech grow-on space for innovative, small businesses and research and development specialists looking for larger premises.
The Science Park has already agreed commercial terms with a large, American tech company planning to occupy its own building in the second phase of development. Construction is planned to start in May with completion in early 2022.
“We’ve had phenomenal growth from companies that moved into the Park’s Boole Technology Centre a few years ago,” says Tom Blount, Director of Lincoln Science & Innovation Park. “We have built a successful cluster of science and technology businesses with particular growth in agritech, defence and digital and now we need to expand it. More than 100 highly skilled jobs have been created and more than £15m of inward investment has already been pulled into the Lincolnshire economy by our tenants. All within a building which cost £7m. This wouldn’t be happening if this cluster didn’t exist.”
The University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Co-op jointly founded the Science Park in 2012 to create a world-class environment for science, research and innovation in the city.
Professor Mary Stuart CBE, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, welcomes the opportunities it has created for Lincoln students and graduates. “Since the Science Park opened, we have had students on internships, graduates securing excellent jobs and postdoctoral students setting up businesses there. This has ensured that an increasing number of graduates are choosing to stay in the city to progress their careers.”
Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive, Ursula Lidbetter OBE, recognises the Park’s success in creating a collaborative hub of business, research and academia: “We are helping to build a genuine community of innovators and technologists that is already having a direct impact on the economic wellbeing of Lincolnshire.”
Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, says: “We are delighted to be involved in LSIP’s Phase Two enabling works and the creation of new research and development space. This Getting Building Fund scheme will create around 930sqm of floor space for exploiting innovation opportunities in some of our key growth sectors.”