New Enterprise Zone ‘a remarkable partnership’ for Leicester

Ambitious plans to transform educational opportunities and transform regional Research and Development have been revealed in the announcement of a new Enterprise Zone (EZ) for Leicestershire.

Ambitious plans to transform educational opportunities and transform regional Research and Development have been revealed in the announcement of a new Enterprise Zone (EZ) for Leicestershire.Paul Monks EZ

Midlands Engine Minister Marcus Jones MP (pictured right with Professor Paul Monks Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering), visited Leicestershire to launch the Economic Zone, which has been designed to deliver on shared ambitions to bring cutting-edge research and enterprise to Leicestershire, to the benefit of the local and regional economy.

This is the second Enterprise Zone in the LLEP area and follows the highly successful automotive technology Enterprise Zone at MIRA Technology Park near Hinckley. Each of the three sites within the new Enterprise Zone is unique, but has been designed to create a new research and development cluster in a priority area for science and innovation policy, confirming Leicestershire’s position as the R&D capital of the Midlands.

  • Leicester Waterside, which has a focus on space technologies, research and advanced manufacturing and would encompass the University of Leicester’s proposed National Space Park
  • Development of Charnwood Campus to create a new cluster specialising in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and bio-medical sectors, being developed as a bid for a Life Sciences Opportunity Zone with academic leadership from University of Leicester’s Professor Alison Goodall
  • Loughborough University’s Science and Enterprise Park, with a specialist focus on energy research and low-carbon technology

In the first five years of operations, the new EZ is expected to generate over £3.5 million in business rates which will be re-invested by the LLEP partnership into projects across the City and County. It is being led by a partnership involving the LLEP, Loughborough University, Leicester City Council, University of Leicester, Leicestershire County Council and others, and is part of the ambitious Midlands Engine strategy for regional leadership.

Launching the new Economic Zone at a reception on 13th February, Marcus Jones MP joined Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby in thanking all of the partners involved in delivery, and paid tribute to the cross-party work of local MPs, including Loughborough’s Nicky Morgan, who have supported development of the Economic Zone throughout.

LLEP Chair Nick Pulley said the project was another “milestone for Leicestershire… It never ceases to amaze me what a fantastic, vibrant and creative county we live in.”

Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby commented, “We have here in Leicester and Leicestershire a remarkable partnership, and a very strong sense of common purpose amongst our unique universities and local authorities. Science and innovation is very much at the heart of what we offer here.”

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester added, “From the life sciences to R&D supporting investment in high-tech industries, Leicester is taking our place at the forefront of UK research. We’ve seen what an Economic Zone can do for the partnership between universities and industry at MIRA; and the benefits for local communities. Now everyone living in Leicester and north-west Leicestershire has a stake in our R&D success.”

Professor Iain Gillespie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Enterprise said: “This announcement of national support for a new Enterprise Zone demonstrates the importance of our research capability to the world. It will enable us to build new partnerships, explore the commercial and transformative aspects of our research and help us to create opportunities for training future generations of researchers.”

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