New UK ‘Space City’ cluster launched in Leicester
A new ‘Space City Leicester’ cluster has been launched in Leicester that will create one of the largest and most connected Enterprise Zones for space-related activities in the UK.
Space City Leicester represents up to £233 million of investment in new and planned facilities on the former Pioneer Park development to the north of Leicester city centre. This includes the University of Leicester’s science and innovation hub Space Park Leicester, the award-winning National Space Centre visitor attraction and the flexible working space and high-tech business incubator facilities at Dock and Dock 2.
Workspace will be expanded in the near future to include Dock 3 innovation workspace, and newer industrial and business incubator facilities at Abbey Court.
Space City Leicester is dedicated to space research, production, manufacture and development, and will make Leicester a key part of the UK’s Space Spine. The cluster will also be home to non-space related knowledge economy businesses, those working towards decarbonisation, innovative start-ups and established businesses looking for grow on space.
The Space City Leicester partnership includes DOCK, Leicester City Council, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), National Space Centre, Space Park Leicester and the University of Leicester. Space City is part of the Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone.
Research scientists at the University of Leicester have a long and distinguished record of discovery in space science with around 300 academics and researchers working on space and Earth observation, one of the largest groups in the UK. Every single year since 1967 has seen a Leicester-built instrument operating in space and their work today includes x-ray and observational astronomy, radio and space plasma physics (including space weather) and planetary science and instrumentation development.
Building upon the heritage and space-science excellence of the University of Leicester, Space Park Leicester is a world-leading space and Earth observation cluster that has built a collaborative community of industry, academics and students working together to drive growth in the space sector. Space Park Leicester is forecast to contribute £750 million per year to the UK space sector over the next decade and is expected to support more than 2,500 direct and indirect jobs in the East Midlands. The launch of Space City comes as Space Park Leicester, the city’s hub for space research and innovation, marks the first anniversary of its opening.
The new Space City Leicester cluster will be promoted to an international audience for the first time at the world’s leading real estate event, MIPIM in Cannes, France from 14-17 March 2023.
Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Space City Leicester has put our city firmly on the map for research production and manufacture in the space industry, but the good news doesn’t end there as further expansion is planned to meet the demand from businesses keen to locate here from the UK and overseas.”
President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester Professor Nishan Canagarajah said: “This is the launchpad for an exciting new chapter in our city’s space history. From its beginnings 60 years ago at the University, we have grown space activity to unlock its huge potential to advance learning, to stimulate inward investment, innovation and growth and to address the challenging problems of our time. Space City Leicester is exciting, it is bold and it is built upon a heritage of success. I would like to thank all our supporters, industrial partners, LLEP and the Leicester City Council for their steadfast commitment to this ambitious endeavor.”
Andy Reed OBE, Co-Chair, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), said: “Space City Leicester combines world-leading expertise with major assets such as Space Park Leicester and the National Space Centre to boldly build on what we have here in Leicester and Leicestershire.
“It will create a world-leading cluster of research and development that will bring growth, investment, and many hundreds of jobs to our region.”
For more information on Space City Leicester, and investment and relocation opportunities in Leicester and Leicestershire, visit www.investinleicester.com.