£135 million Space Park Leicester rockets into the second phase of development
Updated: Feb 11, 2020
Team Leicester championed the revolutionary Space Park Leicester at MIPIM in 2019, through its innovative theme ‘Space for Growth’. You can check out what happened here.
As the Team Leicester partnership now gears up for MIPIM 2020, we wanted to take a look at where the fantastic Space Park Leicester project is one year on.
What is Space Park Leicester?
The £135 million Space Park Leicester is being developed by the University of Leicester (UoL) in collaboration with Leicester City Council and the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
Leicester already has a very strong foothold when it comes to the space sector. Not only has UoL continued to hold a pivotal role in Space exploration, research and technology for over 50 years but every year since 1967, a Leicester-built instrument has been utilised in space.
The extraordinary Space Park Leicester will undoubtedly strengthen the region’s position, creating a world-leading base for advanced research and education in space and earth observation.
Due to house state-of-the-art facilities for space research, development and manufacturing it will also be a bespoke National Centre for Earth Observation.
Amongst many features, it will create a centre for research and development in Artificial Intelligence and robot-assisted satellite production; provide original solutions for downstream space data challenges; as well as being a Low-Cost Access to Space (LoCAS) satellite manufacturing facility for the manufacture of mid-range satellites. (LLEP, 2020).
Once completed, Space Park Leicester is anticipated to contribute up to £750 million a year to the economy and generate 2,500 jobs.
So what has happened in the last year?
Planning permission for phase one of Space Park Leicester was granted in July, shortly after MIPIM 2019. This first phase was kick-started by funding from several sources including the University, the LLEP, UKRPIF (UK Research Partnership Investment Fund) and the Natural Environment Research Council. UoL later revealed a further £100 million of government investment at the UK Space Conference in September.
Construction of phase one began in January and an official ground-breaking ceremony with Ministerial involvement was held on 30th January 2020.
Earlier the same month, it was announced that planning permission for the second phase of development had been officially granted by Leicester City Council. Construction of phase two is expected to begin in Spring of this year.
According to the LLEP, the first buildings in the development will be finished in 2021.
In less than a year, this exciting UoL development supported by government, private and public sector partners has broken ground, secured planning permission and additional funding for its next phase. What a fantastic, inspiring project for both Leicester and the UK Space industry alike!
This year Leicester is proud to present the key theme for 2020 ‘Leicester the Healthy Choice’, to invest, live and work, mirroring MIPIM’s theme, ‘The Future is Human’ and the underpinning values of the emerging local industrial strategy.