Dignitaries from around the region gathered at Loughborough University on Thursday 26 March to celebrate the completion of the first phase of construction of the new Advanced Technology Innovation Centre.
The Advanced Technology Innovation Centre (ATIC) is the first new building to be developed as part of the expansion of Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks (LUSEP).
Attending the ‘topping out’ ceremony were Jon Walker (Director of Enterprise Development, Loughborough University), Cllr David Slater (Leader, Charnwood Borough Council), Mandip Rai (Head of Strategy and Engagement, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership), Cllr Blake Pain (Lead Member for Economic Growth, Leicestershire County Council) and Geoff Parker (CEO, Charnwood Borough Council).
They were joined by representatives from construction company G F Tomlinson and a number of the companies that make up the 1,500-strong innovation community on LUSEP.
ATIC will provide high specification office, studio and rent-a-desk space for up to 50 companies, ranging from early-stage businesses to large SMEs. When it opens its doors in September 2015, it is anticipated that ATIC will have over 50% occupancy, based on current firm expressions of interest.
ATIC’s development is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)1.
Professor Steve Rothberg, Pro Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) at Loughborough University, said: “The University plays an important role in stimulating growth regionally and nationally, generating £823 million-worth of expenditure in the economy and sustaining more than 12,000 jobs.
“The construction of the Advanced Technology Innovation Centre is a significant and very exciting phase in the development of Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks. It will allow us to provide crucial support for even greater numbers of start-up businesses and enable us to enhance further the contribution that the University makes to both the region’s and the country’s prosperity.”
Andy Sewards, Director at G F Tomlinson, said: “This scheme is a wonderful example of a construction project which is supporting Loughborough University’s goals to boost the economic development of the region – helping new and existing businesses and creating jobs.
“As part of the wider Science and Enterprise Parks, the Innovation Centre building is being created with a philosophy which encourages occupants and visitors to interact with one another. This will help to create an ethos of collaboration with the sharing of insight and expertise.
“The completion of the first phase is an important milestone for the project, demonstrating how the building is taking shape and the significant progress made on the scheme.”
Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks is a magnet for a range of global business partners, including specialist high-technology companies and high growth spin-out and spin-in businesses. It combines the benefits of a purpose-built corporate environment with a complementary research and development base and skilled workforce supply.
Plans are underway to significantly expand LUSEP. When fully developed, the site will provide up to 200,000 sq m (2.15m sq ft) of floor space and will be home to businesses employing as many as 6,000 people.
The project has the backing of Leicestershire County Council and Charnwood Borough Council, as well as the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP). LUSEP’s expansion is supported by the Leicester and Leicestershire City Deal, highlighting its important role in strategic economic development.