Government funding for National Space Park development announced

The University-led National Space Park has been allocated £12.87 million in funding as part of the Government's Midlands Engine Strategy.

The Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) has been allocated £25.87 million from the Government in the latest round of Local Growth Deal funding. £12.87 million of this will support the development of the National Space Park; providing a national hub for space research, learning, public engagement and innovation. This is set to deliver around 500 jobs and support up to 100 businesses, making a major contribution to the productivity challenge facing the city of Leicester.

Also announced in this round is £1 million for the extension of the National Space Centre, which was the brainchild of the University of Leicester, to support it to continue to be the leading visitor attraction for space science and astronomy and to build its capacity to deliver science workshops for schools and deliver learning and apprenticeships in space engineering.

Professor Paul Boyle, President & Vice-Chancellor, said: “It’s great to hear that the government is again backing Leicestershire’s success by investing in our world-class research and development clusters.

“From the life sciences to R&D supporting investment in energy, space and satellite technologies, Leicestershire is emerging at the forefront of UK research. The National Space Park is going to have a huge impact on the city and region – and it will be nationally important.

“Our new project, with a working title of National Space Park, will be a true game changer. It will help us deliver against at least three of the challenges that Government has articulated in their Industrial and Midlands Engine strategies.

“First, drawing on our expertise in space engineering, we will be able to focus on lowering the cost of access to space for satellite systems and improve their instrumentation and potential.

“Second, we will better harness earth observation and other space enabled data for our own challenges here on own our planet, such as supply chain resilience, air quality and of course managing the traffic!

“And, third, with our friends here in the National Space Centre, we will specifically address skills shortages through apprenticeships, professional training and business-focused degrees and internships. Our new venture will create new firms and an estimated 500 jobs for the local economy.”