An international corridor of science and innovation connected into a wider strategy for science linked to Liverpool and Manchester City Regions.
Cheshire has some of the most significant science based assets in the north of England, some of which are of global importance: – in advanced scientific analysis and research, pharmaceuticals R&D, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, chemical engineering, energy and nuclear engineering, radio-astrophysics and astronomy. Collectively these assets form the Cheshire Science Corridor.
The Science Corridor has recently been awarded Enterprise Zone status by the government, find out more about The Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone here.
The key assets are:
- Capenhurst Technology Park
- Thornton Science Park
- Sci-tech Daresbury (in Liverpool City Region LEP area)
- Birchwood Park’s Nuclear and Forensics Clusters
- Alderley Park (Life Sciences)
- Jodrell Bank and the Square Kilometre Array, the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world
This growing science includes scientific manufacturing in Macclesfield, leading astrophysics research at Jodrell Bank, world class life sciences research hub at Alderley Park, and the world’s largest mass spectrometry headquarters at the Waters Corporation in Wilmslow. This concentration of science excellence is a strong base to underpin the fantastic offer of research in the wider North West, which extends to the Manchester Science Park, Science Corridor development, Media Park in Trafford, Sci-Tech Daresbury, Capenhurst and Thornton Science Park.
The area is host to a concentration of globally significant companies including Astra Zeneca, Siemens, Waters Corporation and the National Nuclear Laboratory which represent a hotbed of intellectual capacity and entrepreneurship. It offers a high quality environment, with good connectivity that transcends the sub-region, and an outstanding track record of creating and building new businesses and attracting investment. This gives Cheshire and Warrington – as part of a wider North West Science & Technology cluster – the potential to become a UK leading area for future investment and innovation in many of the ‘Eight Great Technologies’.
A joint study working with Liverpool and Greater Manchester LEPs has been commissioned to look at practical steps that the LEPs could take to increase the level of commercialisation and economic contribution of science and innovation across the Atlantic gateway. In Cheshire and Warrington some of the potential areas of activity are:
- Creating a virtual and real Network of Innovation in Science and Technology through the leadership of existing global brands and high growth SMEs, together with leading higher education and research institutions, and government
- Developing new finance and investment tools and targeting existing funding opportunities to help grow companies with high growth potential
- Providing the right sites in the right locations with the right infrastructure, enhanced by the highest quality of life in order to attract the best talent to the area
- Building a workforce for the future and developing the existing skills base by ensuring that the right skills provision and education is in place
These assets are enhanced by the indigenous presence of University of Chester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Reaseheath Further Education College and the strength and accessibility of the expertise and teaching of several neighbouring institutions including University of Manchester interests at Jodrell Bank and Alderley Park and Liverpool University’s veterinary campus.
Either “on site” from University of Chester or accessible through the gateway of the MMU Cheshire campus are academic and consultancy expertise, teaching and research that will support the Cheshire Science Corridor objectives in the areas of Advanced manufacturing and materials, High Level Computing, Aerospace and Automotive, Alternative Energy, Chemical and Bio chemical science.
The Science Corridor will build on this and promote, enable and coordinate wider investment from public and private sector sources to form an overall investment plan to build these important science assets to stimulate jobs and growth.
Cheshire Science Corridor Priorities:
- Thornton Science Park – the University of Chester and public and private sector partners are investing £23m to develop an internationally recognised centre of excellence in Advanced Energy Systems to capitalise on its unique legacy assets. One of the signature projects is the SMART Grid Demonstrator – a shared facility to meet the growth needs of the energy sector, allowing businesses to test new technologies and model energy usage with combinations of old and new energy sources
- Alderley Park Science for Life – harnessing this site’s world class, highly valuable and specialist R&D facilities and its existing supply chains and related businesses, into a location of national and international excellence for advanced scientific analysis and research – with a particular focus on human health science, R&D, technologies and processes. This is a joint project with Greater Manchester LEP.
- Greater Manchester & Cheshire Life Science Investment Fund – A collaborative venture with Greater Manchester to provide access to specialist investment finance to support cluster development. The Government-led Alderley Park Task Force commissioned a detailed Demand Study for Life Sciences in 2013 which made a number of detailed recommendations which now inform this proposal. The Investment Programme will build a UK Life Science ecosystem to attract, develop and reward talent, and overcome barriers to promote innovation through the following actions:
- Creation of a £40m Investment Fund to support growth in life science SME’s
- Strengthen the existing ecosystem in the sub-region through networking and mentoring
- Align existing resources for business support with the requirements of the sector