An artist’s impression of the new Science Park.

Science Park plans on show

A series of public exhibitions are to be held into draft proposals for the Exeter Science Park in advance of submission of an outline planning application.

The Science Park is a significant element of the Exeter and East Devon New Growth Point area, and will provide a major lift to the economy with the potential to create up to 3,700 jobs in the first 20 years.

The Science Park Partnership developing the project is made up of Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, The Met Office, South West RDA and the University of Exeter.

Devon County Council is currently preparing the outline proposals on behalf of the Partnership and is welcoming comments from the public during the exhibitions, which start on Friday 27 February, as it looks to refine the application.

David Allen, Chairman of the Science Park Steering Group and Registrar at the University of Exeter, said: “The popularity of the University's Innovation Centre underlines the need and demand for a Science Park. The future success of the UK’s economy rests on a healthy and expanding science, medicine and technology sector. We need to ensure we are well placed to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise.”

Councillor Humphrey Temperley, Devon County Council Executive Member for Strategic Planning, International and Regional Affairs, said: “The Science Park is a key part of the development to the east of Exeter, and it is even more important in the current economic climate that this scheme continues to move forward. It demonstrates the commitment to investing in our local economy, and will establish Devon as an international centre for scientific and technological industries.”

Ian Thompson, Devon area director for the South West RDA, said: “Helping the region’s businesses through the recession is a key responsibility for the RDA but we are also focused on preparing the economy for a return to growth so we are pleased to see the Science Park plans moving forward. We are investing £19 million in the Science Park because we believe it will play a key role in diversifying and reinforcing the Exeter economy, helping to put the city and wider region in the best possible position for when recovery comes.”

Exhibitions will be held at:

  • Friday 27 February - Gypsy Hill Hotel, Exeter, from 12noon - 8pm;
  • Saturday 28 February - Gypsy Hill Hotel, Exeter, from 10.30am - 4pm;
  • Tuesday 3 March - Sowton Village Hall, from 11:30am - 7pm;
  • Wednesday 4 March - Broadclyst Village Hall from 11:30am - 7:30pm;
  • Thursday 5 March - Rockbeare Village Hall from 11:30am - 7pm.

The exhibition will then be displayed at Great Moor House, Sowton, from Monday 9 March to Friday 13 March, from 9:30am – 4:30pm.

The outline planning application will be submitted in June, seeking permission for 68,700 square metres of building development that would be constructed in phases over 20-25 years.

Phase one would include a hotel and conference facility, science park centre, and office space for let. Subject to approval, work would start on site in Spring 2010.

A questionnaire will be available at the exhibition, but comments can also be made by email to espexhibitions@devon.gov.uk or by writing to Mike Phillips, Science Park Project Manager, Lucombe House, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, Devon, EX2 4QW.

For more information visit the Exeter Science Park website which has just been launched.

Notes for Editors:

Media representatives are invited to a photo opportunity at Gypsy Hill Hotel at 10am on Friday 27 February. Plans and visualisations of the scheme will be available.

Councillor Humphrey Temperley, 07966 411654.

Michelle Hale, Project Co-ordinator, University of Exeter, 0845 5277222

John Casey, South West RDA, 01208 77900.

Date: 27 February 2009

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