Tim Peake, a British astronaut, announced the opening of Space Park Leicester today. The hub will bring industry, academics and students together to help drive growth in the UK’s booming space sector. It will provide a base for world-leading research, as well provide opportunities to “train, educate and inspire our future generations”.
The University of Leicester is leading the project in partnership with the city council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
An initial £8.1million of Local Growth Fund Investment was provided by the LLEP, which went towards the first phase of Space Park Leicester.
Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “Encouraging innovation in Leicester and Leicestershire is a core part of our Economic Growth Strategy through to 2030.
“By investing in what has quickly become an international hub of space technology, we are helping bring to Leicester highly-skilled jobs which are at the cutting edge of research and development.”
The state-of-the art facility has also managed to attract a wide range of the world’s leading space-related companies such as CGI and Rolls-Royce.
Professor Richard Ambrosi said: “Space Park Leicester is a world-leading cluster for innovative research, enterprise and education in space and Earth observation, representing the unique offering of a collaborative community for industry and academia to develop and grow.”
Prof Ambrosi also told the BBC that Space Park Leicester is “one of the largest groupings of space-related researchers of any institution in the UK”.
Mike Dalzell, Director for Tourism, Culture and Investment at Leicester City Council, said: ”The Inward Investment team at Leicester City Council are working tirelessly to attract new investors and we are proud of the superb asset that Space Park Leicester brings to the City.
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“We’re hoping to have the first launch from UK soil of a satellite, we’ll be the first European country to do that, so that’s really exciting and so this Space Park Leicester is just part of where the UK is going.
“We’ve got a growing economy and space is a real growth sector and it’s brilliant that we have so much enthusiasm and energy here.
“Space Park Leicester will highlight the exciting careers available within the space sector and help to train, educate and inspire our future generations.”