Home » Business

Co-op and University to build new Lincoln science park

The University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Co-operative announced plans to build a world-class science and innovation park in the city

The pair have teamed up to create a hub for scientific minds and technology businesses across the country.

The multimillion pound plan will be built on 10 acres of disused land on Green Lane, between Ruston Way and Beevor Street.

The land is owned already by Lincolnshire Co-op, which would house a hub for technical expertise and university and commercial enterprises.

The park will provide the city with state-of the-art laboratories and teaching areas for subjects such as biology, biomedical science and bioveterinary science.

The University hopes to attract high-tech companies onto the land from areas ranging from pharmaceutical science and biotechnology to industrial development and engineering.

The University of Lincoln aims to locate the School of Life Sciences and the upcoming School of Pharmacy in Becor House, which currently sits near the land.

While the overall cost of the plan is unknown, investment in the land by the university and Co-operative could reach up to £14 million.

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor of the University, said: “This is a tremendously exciting step for the University as we strengthen and grow our science provision, and one which will bring massive benefits to the city in terms of employment and inward investment.

“Highly skilled professionals who have previously looked outside Lincolnshire for career opportunities will be attracted to the area or be encouraged to stay, and the potential to bring in new investors and high-tech businesses to boost the local economy is enormous.

“Our shared vision with Lincolnshire Co-operative is to build a vibrant and successful community of knowledge creators and businesses, working together creatively to promote enterprise, employment, investment and education in Lincoln.”

Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op Ursula Lidbetter said: “We think there’s a huge opportunity to turn this underused site into a stimulating place to work and study.

“It’s an ideal location for a science park as it’s so close to the university campus and Lincoln city centre.

“As a co-operative, we share our profits with our members and their communities and we want to be involved with developments like this which will bring employment opportunities and investment to the city.”

She added: “We also run 47 pharmacies across our trading area and are keen to support the proposed new School of Pharmacy.

“We’ll be able to offer placements to students during their courses, and then potentially job opportunities. Our pharmacists will be able to take advantage of the facilities for their professional development.”

It is thought the first stages of the park will be complete by 2013, in order to place between 1,200 and 1,500 science students based there with about 100 academic and research staff.

Professor Andrew Hunter, Pro Vice Chancellor for the College of Science, added: “The University is in the process of recruiting more than 20 new high-profile life and pharmaceutical scientists who need access to good laboratories and offices.

“But alongside the academic spaces will be industrial developments and we will be looking for other organisations to partner with, following a similar model to our highly successful engineering collaboration with Siemens.”