Science centre hits the heights

Topping Out ceremony held at the University of Wolverhampton

An official ‘Topping Out’ ceremony has been held at the University of Wolverhampton’s £10.1 million Science, Technology and Prototyping Centre, which is being built at the University’s Science Park.

The centre will provide high specification laboratory and workshop space for science and engineering businesses in Wolverhampton. The three storey development will offer 4,000 square metres of space and feature high quality offices, labs and workshops, as well as a café and space for parking.

The project has been funded through a £4.8 million grant from the Growth Deal to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, with the remaining £5.3 million coming from the University of Wolverhampton.

Designed by the Fairhurst Design Group and built by Clegg Construction, the new centre will offer unrivalled specialist space to scientific-based businesses wanting to develop and enhance their research and development activities.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Oakes, said: “This exciting new development will be the only facility of its type in the Black Country and will build on the University’s investment in science and engineering in the last two years.

It is a huge opportunity for the city and the University – Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

“It is a huge opportunity for the city and the University. We want to work with businesses to help them grow and develop new products and processes as well as offering our students the chance for placements and graduate jobs.

“Job creation is a huge priority for the city and the Science, Technology and Prototyping Centre will attract new businesses bringing with them high-value jobs for the area and for graduates.”

Ninder Johal, Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership Board Member, said: “The LEP continues to support activities that focus on building on the strengths of the region with the aim of improving skills development.

“The new Science, Technology and Prototyping Centre is a prime example of this. Firms of all sizes from the region can look forward to working with a leading university located in the centre of the Black Country with all types of assistance on offer based around manufacturing and technology. 

“In an ever competitive environment businesses need to have a skilled workforce with focus on new products and innovation and this centre is designed to achieve all of these objectives.” 

Simon Blackburn, Managing Director of Clegg Construction Ltd, which is carrying out the work, said he had been “impressed with the ambition” shown by the University in bringing the project to fruition. He added: “The building is really taking shape with the exterior structure now in place and some of the interior cosmetic work starting.  We are really pleased to have reached this important milestone.”

‘Topping out’ ceremonies, marking the completion of a building’s structure, are thought to date back to Saxon times. The centre is due to be completed in spring 2017. 

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