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Growth Minister visits Science Vale Enterprise Zone

Published on: 12/11/2014

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt has visited Milton Park in Oxford’s Science Vale Enterprise Zone to see the significant work that has gone on to transform the enterprise zone into a world-class hub for science and technology.

The Minister visited the park ahead of today’s announcement (Wednesday 12 November) that the government’s enterprise zone programme has created 12,530 jobs, attracted 434 new businesses and generated over £2 billion worth of private investment since opening for business.

Oxford’s Science Vale Enterprise Zone has played its part in that success story, creating more than 760 jobs and attracting new business to the two sites at Milton Park and Harwell. Home to more than 360 businesses in total, including world-class technology companies like Amgen, Evotec, Infineum and Vertex, the zone is aiming to create 16,000 jobs over the next 15 years.

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Science Vale is a success story and is building a deservedly world-class reputation as a centre for excellence for science and technology. The zone continues to attract some of the biggest names in the business as well as small innovators to this part of the world. That is why we have spent millions in developing these sites and it’s great to see where that money is going first hand. It’s further proof that our enterprise zones are great places to do business, creating jobs, attracting investment and driving forward our economy.”

During the tour, the Minister met with Andrew Barlow and Philip Campbell of Milton Park. Home to 6,500 people and more than 250 organisations, the park is going from strength to strength with its vibrant mix of companies from manufacturing and medical services to mobile technology.

Ms Mordaunt then visited Tokamak Energy, a successful SME that is conducting ground-breaking work in fusion energy. Having moved to the zone in May 2013, the company is currently looking to expand its premises to accommodate its growth.

James Dipple, chief executive officer at MEPC, which owns Milton Park, said: “We are delighted to have played a small part in this significant enterprise zone announcement. Our Science Vale UK Enterprise Zone status helps us to continue to develop a world-class business community which is attractive for companies who have a vision to grow, innovate and succeed, and thus facilitate jobs and growth for the local and wider economy. Such growth, as announced today not only at Milton Park but across the other UK enterprise zones, can only be positive news for the benefit of all.”

The Government opened the 24 enterprise zones in April 2012 as part of a 25-year project to rebalance the economy, offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband to companies.

That vision has provided a major boost to the UK construction sector with work already carried out to redevelop 85 hectares of land and deliver more than 47,000 square metres of new or refurbished floor space.

Science Vale Oxford is providing a vibrant platform for new and established companies to thrive. Benefits of the zone include:

  • Immediate access to outstanding scientific facilities, including the Diamond Light Synchrotron - the UK’s biggest scientific investment for 30 years - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Culham Centre for Fusion Energy;
  • world-class research organisations, including the Science and Technology Facilities Council, European Space Agency, Medical Research Council and Satellite Applications Catapult;
  • the UK’s largest bio-science cluster focusing on drug discovery and development, diagnostics and medical devices; and
  • Government investment: In January the Government announced £7million of infrastructure funding for the enterprise zone. The additional investment will create 40,000 square foot of highly specialised laboratory space to support growing bioscience companies.

Picture: Penny Mordaunt MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, announced Enterprise Zone jobs growth and met Dr David Kingham, Chief Executive, Tokamak Energy Ltd, which aims to accelerate the development of fusion energy and is based at Milton Park in Oxfordshire, which is part of the Government’s Science Vale UK Enterprise Zone. Tokamak’s building at 120A Olympic Avenue, was the first hi-tech speculative development within a UK Enterprise Zone. Tokamak is a successful SME that is looking to further expand, demonstrating growth and innovation in the energy sector.

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