The first three businesses have moved into the University of Wolverhampton’s new Science Centre.
The £10.1m centre located at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park was completed late last year and offers high quality workshop, office and category 1 and 2 laboratory space over 4,000 square metres.
The centre aims to offer specialist space for science, technology and engineering businesses, catering for the aerospace, automotive, building technology and life science sectors.
The first three tenants are Crestwood Environmental, Deeo Design and Engineering and VOSC (Vehicle Occupant Safety Centre).
Crestwood has taken up lab space as part of its move into the centre from the University’s Rosalind Franklin Building, where it had developed a research project with the University which it now is able to offer as a commercial service.
The lab will offer services for land developers and those running large infrastructure projects to help them identify the presence of protected species like great crested newts and water voles. Kits have been developed for field ecologists to take water samples on site and bring them back to the lab for DNA testing.
Managing Director Sid Lambert said: “We knew the centre was being built and it was always our plan to take up space here, particularly following the research project we’d undertaken alongside the University.
“The facility is modern and purpose built and got everything we need plus it’s in a great location. It will also allow us to expand into more space as we hopefully grow as a company.”
VOSC, which is part of the Kingswinford based seating manufacturer Phoenix Seating, has taken up workshop space. The business, working independently from its seating company, will offer specialist safety testing facilities to the automotive industry for a range of vehicles via its high-spec crash-test rig.
Company director Sara Tarrant said: “For us it is local to our existing business and the facilities were just what we needed to set up our new centre. It has what we need now but also for the future. We’re excited to be working alongside like-minded companies and are seeking to attract business from all over the UK.”
Deeo Design and Engineering, which works across the fields of visualisation, design engineering and built environment is relocating its business from the Wolverhampton Business Park near the i54.
Managing Director Mark Williams said: “We needed a bigger footprint as a business. We have lots of people who work with us virtually all over the country but we needed a nice space to bring them altogether in a central location. We also wanted somewhere that had the potential to grow as we grew. It is a great looking building and it is also attractive to be moving onto the Science Park alongside other businesses we could collaborate with.”
University of Wolverhampton Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Oakes, said: “We’re delighted with the development, to be expanding the offer of the Science Park and to be investing into the city.
“It very much mirrors our investment in science, technology and engineering with the aim of producing highly qualified people with STEM-related skills to help the types of businesses which will move into the new Science Centre to prosper and, in turn, drive the regional economy.”
A fourth tenant is already lined up for the centre and a number of prospective new tenants are in talks about taking up space.
Nigel Babb, University of Wolverhampton Science Park Director, said: “The new centre offers unrivalled specialist space to scientific-based businesses wanting to develop and enhance their research and development activities. But we are also able to offer access into the University and its world leading research, as well as a talented pool of students and graduates.”
The project was funded through a £4.8m grant from the Growth Deal to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, with the remaining £5.3m coming from the University.
For more information on the Science Centre and its facilities visit http://sciencetechcentre.co.uk/ or phone 01902 824000.