Clegg Construction has started work on a £10.1 million state-of-the-art science, technology and prototyping centre at the University of Wolverhampton.
Part-funded by a £4.8 million Growth Deal grant from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the three-storey development at the university’s science park will offer 4,000 square metres of space and feature high specification laboratories, workshops and offices – a combination of facilities not currently available in the Black Country.
The West Midlands university, which has more than 21,000 students and 2,400 staff based at campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford, is investing £250 million over the next five years as part of the Our Vision, Your Opportunity programme.
The new science park premises, due for completion next summer, will provide capacity for up to 40 new businesses focused on science and technology-based activities.
Professor Ian Oakes, deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “This exciting new development – which is really beginning to take shape – will be the only facility of its type in the Black Country and will build on the university’s continued investment in science and engineering over the past two years.
“Our aim through this major investment is to contribute to the economic regeneration of the city by attracting new businesses to the region involved in Science and Technology research and development. The substantial investment will have a major impact on the local economy through improved competitiveness and new job creation.”
Stewart Towe, Black Country LEP chair said: “The Growth Fund is helping the Black Country LEP to invest in, and change the landscape of, the whole Black Country. With new build specialist facilities such as the science, technology and prototyping centre we can continue to develop skills, learning and job creation within this sector and in doing so continue our work to secure a strong economic future for the Black Country.”