Start Date for £200m Swansea Science Campus Development

Friday, 21st September 2012

More good news for Swansea and West Wales. Building work is set to start next year on a new £200m campus development after Swansea University sealed a funding deal this week. The first phase of the scheme can now get under way after the University secured £60m funding from the European Investment Bank plus a further £30m from Welsh Government and the Wales European Funding Office. About 4,000 direct jobs will be created during the construction phrase with a further 6,000 indirect jobs supported in the wider economy as a result.


Oil giant BP originally donated the land which has outline planning permission.  The scheme will include construction of a new Science and Innovation Campus plus the regeneration of the University’s Singleton Park Campus. Building work on the 69-acre site off Fabian Way will begin next year and will focus on science and innovation as well as providing 2,000 student residences in the first phase.


Swansea University’s “second campus” will create 5,000 new jobs and inject £3bn into the Welsh economy over the next decade, according to its vice chancellor. Professor Richard Davies made the prediction as he officially accepted £90m worth of public funding for the ambitious project. He described it as one of the “biggest knowledge economy projects in Europe” and said "The new science and innovation campus is a transformational project for Wales and for the university."


Known as the Science and Innovation Park, the 69-acre former BP owned River Neath estuary-side site off Fabian Way at Jersey Marine will eventually house 2,000 staff and 5,100 students. The site will have its own beach and be next to a marsh protected as a site of special scientific interest. The project aims to attract Swansea University’s existing “big hitter” research partners such as Tata, IBM, Airbus, BAE Systems and Huawei Technologies Co with Rolls-Royce already committed to a materials testing laboratory at the new campus. Built in two phases the Science and Innovation Park will cost a total of £400m to build.


The university estimates the campus would contribute more than £3bn to the regional economy over the next 10 years and create thousands of jobs. Plans include a research and testing facility operated in partnership with Rolls-Royce. There will also be new teaching and research facilities for the university's engineering, business and economics, maths, and computer science departments as well as student residential accommodation.


First Minister Carwyn Jones said the project was "hugely exciting" for Swansea and Wales. "The University's plans are highly ambitions and they predict it has the potential to create thousands of jobs," he added.


And Simon Brooks, vice president of European Investment Bank said: "This scheme will not only benefit future generations of students, but develop specialist skills, drive innovation and enhance economic growth in Wales. The European Investment Bank is committed to funding leading research and educational excellence across Europe and is pleased to support this landmark investment."