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Science park opens in Wiltshire

September 21, 2018 4:07 PM
By Your WC

This is a press release from your WC. It's been edited to remove clichés, jargon and verbiage.

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A multi-million pound science park for businesses specialising in health and life sciences has been opened in Wiltshire today (21 September).

The Beech-Allen Building, the first phase of Porton Science Park, will support new jobs and businesses linked to the established centres of science and technology at the Porton Down Campus. These include health, biopharma, life sciences, defence and security technologies.

The building forms the gateway to a 10 hectare development site. Specialist services including business and venture management support, mentoring and advice will be delivered with partners including the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Public Health England (PHE) Porton.

Twelve companies are already at the park including Ploughshare Innovations (the technology transfer office for the UK MOD) KalVista, Fluorogenics and Immunotec.

The £10m first phase has been paid for by the European Regional Development Fund, the Local Growth Fund and Wiltshire Council. The package was assembled by Wiltshire Council working with the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).

The opening of Porton Science Park consolidates the position of south Wiltshire as a nationally important centre in specialist health, life science and defence and security sectors. Porton Down is already being supplemented by new investment at Dstl linked to its 'Project Helios' programme. Projects around the Boscombe Down air base are being developed by QinetiQ. These will support growth in aerospace and related defence technologies.

Jane Scott, Leader of Wiltshire Council, officially opened the park alongside John Mortimer of SWLEP and Roz Beech-Allen, widow of Peter, previously a director at the Wessex Forum, who helped inspire the creation of the park.

James Kirby, CEO of Ploughshare Innovations said: "The new building is a state-of-the-art facility and we are looking forward to being at the heart of the science park, forging links with the other businesses here to help develop new technologies and grow prosperity for the region. Our move to Porton puts us closer to our main source of innovations, enabling us to maximise the MOD's investment in core science and technology research."

John Mortimer, Chairman of the SWLEP said "Our area has a strong legacy in scientific research and development and the SWLEP aims to strengthen its growth and competitive edge. Life Sciences is a priority for the SWLEP and by investing in the Porton Science Park, we are supporting specialised development to generate new jobs and mark the area's growth into a competitive cluster of science and research companies."

Gary Aitkenhead, Chief Executive of Dstl said: "Dstl is pleased to be working with Wiltshire Council on this key project. At Dstl, we have a strong track record of working with entrepreneurs to help protect our Armed Forces and the British public, and the new science park can only strengthen these relationships and help create a world-leading science and technology hub in South Wiltshire."