Thames Valley Science Park, Reading, officially opens
Thames Valley Science Park, owned by the University of Reading and set to become one of the largest dedicated science parks in the region and, indeed, in the South East, has now been officially opened.
Following years of planning and development, the Science Park’s flagship ‘Gateway’ building opened its doors for business in March 2018.
The 70,000 square foot building offers flexible office and laboratory space and was part of an initial £35 million investment into the Science Park. The first building to open is now home to 15 cutting-edge technology companies, ranging from early stage start-ups to global research and development centres. The second building, an innovative cancer treatment centre, opened in October 2018. The Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley will help to meet growing demand for proton beam therapy, a specialised type of cancer treatment that, until recently, has not yet been available in the UK.
Tenants have access to a high-speed digital infrastructure that will meet the vast data needs of their businesses. Other amenities at the site located in Shinfield (just off junction 11 of the M4) include a café, conference facilities and flexible meeting spaces.
A dedicated hub for entrepreneurs and growing businesses is also based in the ‘Gateway’ building. Innovation Catalyst is a collaboration between VitalSix, a specialist in supporting growing businesses, Thames Valley Science Park and Barclays Eagle Labs.
The park will take up to 20 years to be fully developed, with significant long-term investment from the University of Reading. Once complete, it will be amongst the biggest dedicated science parks in the region and one of the largest in the South East, delivering approximately 800,000 sq ft of flexible laboratory and office space and providing up to 5,000 new jobs.
Speaking at the event, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Mark Walport said, “Global challenges driven by demographic change, the aging population, pollution and the environment create an extraordinary opportunity for innovation. These global challenges will frame many of the companies that develop here on the Thames Valley Science Park. Science parks such as the Thames Valley Science Park play a fundamental role in the UK economy – the successful businesses of the future will be based on science, research and technology.”
UKRI is a newly formed body that is responsible for the public funding of research and innovation.
David Gillham, Director of the Thames Valley Science Park, commented: “The Thames Valley Science Park builds on our established cluster of over 70 companies already based in our Science and Technology Centre and Enterprise Centre.
“Businesses can access our support in a variety of ways and we actively seek opportunities to use and share our research and resources, enhancing innovation in industry.”
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In June 2017, the University of Reading, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, in conjunction with the European Regional Development Fund, published a commercial opportunity document promoting the investment potential of the Thames Valley Science Park. Discover more here.