13 March 2020
At our March meet-up event, LBV and our host, Nelsons Solicitors on New Walk in Leicester, welcomed representatives from Space Park Leicester to discuss how the new development will impact the wider Leicester business community.
The space sector is the core foundation of the industrial strategy for Leicester, the LLEP local industry strategy prospectus and the Midlands Engine Vision for Growth. At LBV’s Space City event on 13 March 2020, members and other attendees had an opportunity to hear from the University of Leicester’s Dr Grant Bourhill, Chief Executive of Science Parks, and Professor Richard Ambrosi, Deputy Director, Space Research Centre who talked about the plans for Space Park and how local organisations could benefit from it.
Space Park Leicester is a huge initiative based at Abbey Lane, Leicester, and will offer skills, capabilities and research into development, addressing the UK’s need for capacity to build satellite constellations, it will provide a pipeline for UK launch services. Construction of the first phase of Space Park Leicester is now underway, and funding has been secured for the second phase. The full site is expected to be completed by 2021.
This is hugely exciting for Leicester. The plan is not only to look at the collation of space data, research of satellite production and the management of data requests, together with manufacturing of satellite equipment, but also to look beyond space as other complimentary industries. The initial focus will be on the development of environmental services including addressing issues such as climate change. The second focus will be production and retention and analysis of digital data for health.
Leicester and Leicestershire is key for the development of space industries and is home to over one quarter of the UK Aerospace Industry, 7% of Europe’s space industry, and 3% of the World’s space industry, and is rapidly becoming known for its strength in space and space technology. Indeed every year since 1967 a Leicester built instrument has been utilised in space and the tradition continues with the use of space technology and applications developed in Leicester as part of modern day life, from making a mobile phone call and watching television to using a sat nav or computer. Space applications developed in Leicestershire also help other industries such as monitoring crops and forestry areas, air quality observation to help improve transport routes, urban planning, general health and much more.
Commenting on the event, Jane Cowley, Chair of Leicestershire Business Voice said: “The development of Space Park Leicester has relevance for all local businesses. Accessibility is a key theme, in terms of helping businesses to understand the messaging and engage with Space Park Leicester, and collaboration will help it to work across the UK space sector, with the local and national business communities, and with other universities and government agencies.”