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February 5, 2014

Chesire’s tech scene in line for multi-million pound investment

The cash-boost could form part of a push to create up to 3,000 UK jobs.

By Duncan Macrae

A significant number of new tech jobs could be created at Sci-Tech Daresbury after the Chesire-based science and technology enterprise zone was shortlisted for a multi-million pound infrastructure cash boost.

The fund forms part of a £415 million cash injection announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles on January 29 under the Government’s long-term economic plan to boost local industries, high streets and create jobs.

Daresbury is shortlisted in principle, subject to business case, to receive up to £3.58 million as part of this growth boost, for the construction of the new Techspace building, that will enable small to medium sized companies in the Zone to expand as they need to. It is one of 12 Enterprise Zone bids to have been shortlisted.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "As part of our long term economic plan, we are backing business and enterprise right across the country, helping town centres and local industries to prosper, and building a stronger economy.

"This money for infrastructure will transform acres of Enterprise Zone land and build a stronger, more competitive business environment that will create up to 3,000 jobs for hardworking people across the country."

Sci-Tech Daresbury is an internationally-recognised national centre that fosters relationships between science, innovation and industry, and is home to more than 100 high-tech companies, many of whom are expanding and moving into new premises. Fourteen new companies and 163 jobs have located onto the Enterprise Zone since April 2012.

John Downes, Director of Sci-Tech Daresbury’s joint venture company said: "The Enterprise Zone status at Sci-Tech Daresbury is a great example of how strategic government intervention can play a key role in economic regeneration through investment in major opportunities with high growth potential.

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"Sci-Tech Daresbury is a joint venture between Langtree, Halton Borough Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council and it is the effective working of this private/public partnership that has given the government the confidence to invest in Sci-Tech Daresbury because of its ability to deliver real results and drive the collaboration between high-tech business and government-funded science.

"We are delighted to receive this award of up to £3.58m from the Enterprise Zone Capital Grant fund. This comes on top of £7.36m of funding already approved from the regional growth fund last year and both awards form part of a total investment package in the region of £30m that will commence on site at Sci-Tech Daresbury this year. We are very excited about our imminent investment proposals and there is no doubt that they will be a key milestone in the further development of the campus."

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