Following the announcement of a £900 million Getting Building Fund to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure across the country several of our universities’ infrastructure projects have received a much-needed funding boost.
At the University of Lincoln, the Centre for Innovation in Rural Health will receive a share of £25.8m which has been awarded to the Greater Lincolnshire LEP for ‘shovel-ready’ projects in the area.
The brand-new state-of-the-art laboratory will create a focal point for research, training and community engagement and help to address local health care challenges including improving population health in rural settings.
An R&D Institute at the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park which is being jointly developed with the University of Lincoln will also benefit from the windfall.
The institute will focus on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, digital communications, and cyber technologies.
The University of Lincoln is also playing a lead role in the creation of a Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) in Holbeach which will also get a share of the cash. The FEZ will generate £51m of additional GVA in the region over a 10-year period and create a cluster of innovation and commercial partners for food chain automation and digitalisation.
In Derby the proposed Manufacturing Research Centre Midlands will receive a share of £44.4m which has been awarded to the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP.
The centre will create 70 jobs and help to reboot the local economy after the coronavirus crisis by stimulating innovation and growth in the region’s advanced manufacturing sector. It will also provide a permanent base for the University of Derby’s Institute of Innovation in Sustainable Engineering, which has developed an international reputation for innovation in design, manufacturing, product lifecycle management and the application of new and smart materials.
The Food Innovation Park is also on the list of beneficiaries. Supported by the University of Derby as well as Derby City Council and other partners the park will act as a focal point for food manufacturers and distributors; harnessing innovation and investment for sustainable methods of food production.
And finally, the University of Wolverhampton’s National Brownfield Land Institute, which will secure the city’s position as an international leader in sustainable construction, circular economy, and brownfield development, has been awarded £14.9m.
The world-class institute will deliver new jobs and skills and will research and develop new construction methods and ways of regenerating contaminated land.
Chair of Midlands Enterprise Universities and Vice Chancellor at the University of Derby Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL said: “The Government’s announcement is very welcome and we are delighted that several of our partners key infrastructure projects have been allocated funding.
“Our universities are world leaders in innovation and all of these projects are vital to the Midlands’ economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and will help support our key sectors as well as improve skills and career opportunities.”