Wolverhampton Science Park marks 25th anniversary

It has been a thriving site for scores of businesses and hundreds of workers – and now Wolverhampton Science Park is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Wolverhampton Science Park. Photo: University of Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton Science Park. Photo: University of Wolverhampton

The joint venture, between the University of Wolverhampton and Wolverhampton Council, first opened in 1995 – and already had a waiting list.

It has expanded throughout the years and saw the award-winning Science Centre open in 2018 to offer facilities to support various sectors in the region.

Nigel Babb, commercial director of University of Wolverhampton Science Park, said: "It’s fantastic to be celebrating the Science Park’s 25th anniversary. As a local person I remember watching it being built; it’s been great to see it thrive over the years; I never expected to be so involved in later years!

"Since its opening in 1995 it has been consistently successful in providing a nurturing environment to many firms in the area, from start-ups to mature companies – the expansion every time has been due to demand.

"Currently we are home for over 100 businesses working in a broad range of technological, scientific and creative disciplines."

Stories showcasing the history of the site are set to be shared – including a balloon trip in 1862 from the site which sent two explorers five miles into the air before a death-defying plunge to earth.

The vision behind the site, on Bushbury Lane, was to create a place to support start up companies – with the location initially spanning 3,270sq metres.

Matt Weston, from Stone's Throw Media, said: "We've gone from two people to eight in our time of existence and being at the Science Park has certainly helped.

Perception

"We've done business with businesses here, we've given a much better perception of our company by being here and we've seen many improvements during our time.

"It's gone from being a good location to an excellent location and the culture of constant improvement sits really well with our ethos too and it is this which is helping business growth and re-location here."

The site now features four distinct buildings and spans more than 12,000sq metres – almost four times bigger due to subsequent expansions.

Matt Eccles, marketing director for TyTek Industries said: "The specialist facilities at the Science Park are ideal for businesses like ours, giving us the opportunity to enhance our research and development activities.

"It also allows us to access a multitude of support channels and collaboration with like-minded businesses."

The Science Centre, which opened in 2018, has claimed regional title of Best Large Commercial Project in the LABC Awards 2018 and was a finalist for a range of other awards, including RICS Best Regeneration Project and UKSPA Most Successful Project.

Sarah Akbar, managing director of Aliksir, said: "Limited access to laboratory space is a major barrier to entry for many bio-technology start-ups.

"Our decision to locate at the Science Park was an easy one."

A physical celebration is planned to be held next year after being postponed due to the current coronavirus restrictions.

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