Further Government funding in support of The Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park secured at Berkeley

29th January 2015
Further Government funding in support of The Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park secured at Berkeley

South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS) today received a further £7m boost to their project to transform the former Nuclear Laboratories at Berkeley into the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park.

The Government has announced that they will fund two further specific projects to refurbish existing buildings at Berkeley to create the Advanced Environmental Energy Research Centre (AERC) - a research centre for small-scale renewable energy generation and storage and another centre for the delivery of cyber security education and training. Both projects are to be run in partnership between SGS and the University of Gloucestershire.

Kevin Hamblin, Principal and Chief Executive of SGS College said: "This is tremendous news for Gloucestershire businesses and for the thousands of young people who will benefit from the education, training and research which will be undertaken at the site."

The investment comes off the back of an initial £5m to enable SGS to secure the former nuclear laboratory site and develop the Gloucestershire Renewable Energy, Engineering and Nuclear (GREEN) Skills Centre. It is also hoped that a positive decision will be received in a few weeks on the outcome to build a £14m University Technical College specialising in training 14-19 year olds in Advanced Manufacturing and Cyber Security skills.

Kevin added: "I have to thank the team at GFirst, Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership, who have really promoted the need for this investment and I believe it shows that Gloucestershire is really punching above its weight when competing nationally for very limited resources. SGS is an associate faculty of the University of Gloucestershire, so when the possibility of taking the lease on the former laboratories at Berkeley was initiated, we wanted to ensure that there was a variety of education and training available on the site. This investment will provide invaluable resources to train the next generation of professionals in cyber security as well as provide research facilities for university staff and researchers to develop new means of micro power generation systems using wind, tide or solar."

The Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park sits amongst the former nuclear laboratories adjacent to the now decommissioned Nuclear Power Station at Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Opened in the late 1950's, the laboratories were once one of the most advanced scientific research centres in the world and the new investment not only saves the heritage of the site, it invigorates the delivery of education and training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The original GREEN project and the UTC, if approved, will open in September 2016, with the Advanced Environmental Research Centre and Cyber Security Centre opening in 2018. These initiatives will create 200 jobs on the site, training over 3000 people a year and it is expected that over 250 business start-ups will be supported by the development of the AERC.

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