Construction begins of the new Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC) in Torbay.
EPIC will build on the strengths of the hi tech sector in Torbay and provide a centre of excellence for photonics and electronics businesses across the South West.
The centre is being developed and operated by TDA, on behalf of Torbay Council. The first stage of construction, which is being delivered by Interserve, represents a key milestone for the project.
Torbay’s elected Mayor and Executive Lead for Finance and Regeneration, Gordon Oliver, said: “It is great to see construction start on site for this high quality development. EPIC will be a centre of excellence in supporting technological innovation and I am delighted that the Council has been able to bring this centre forward. The facility will promote collaborative activity between businesses and research institutions, while accommodating and supporting start up and spin-off companies and foreign direct investment relevant to the microelectronics and photonics sector. I am grateful to the Hi Tech businesses locally for their insight and support for this project and warmly welcome the support of our funding partners.
The £8m project comprises a purpose-built hi tech innovation centre, along with car parking, landscaping and accompanying estate road.
EPIC is partly funded by £3m from the Heart of the South West LEP’s Growth Deal funding.
Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley, said: “The LEP is very pleased to be supporting this exciting new project with investment from our Growth Deal with Government.
“The hi-tech sector is an important driver to growth throughout the whole of the Heart of the South West area. This new development will help generate more growth by providing purpose built facilities for over 70 innovation led companies, as well as supporting collaborations between industry and centres of learning.”
In addition to this, £1.375M has been secured from the European Regional Development Fund.
Local Growth Minister, Jake Berry, said: “Torbay is a shining example of how Government’s Local Growth funding is providing new and exciting economic opportunities for communities across the country. Delivered with support from the Heart of the South West Local Economic Partnership, this new Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre will help put Torbay on the map for technological innovation and cutting-edge research while supporting local businesses and attracting investment.”
EPIC will provide open market access to purpose built hi tech facilities and specialist equipment to support R&D, prototyping, innovation and collaboration in emerging technologies, and developing new intellectual property.
Alan Denby, TDA, said: “TDA has worked closely with the cluster of hi tech businesses in Torbay and South Devon. EPIC is a hugely important project which complements TDA’s work with schools to raise awareness of science and engineering opportunities available locally through our MADE project.”
The development of EPIC and the South Devon College’s Hi Tech and Digital Skills Centre represent two significant multi million pound investments within the local area which are designed to support the growth of the area’s hi tech sector, and support the development of Torbay’s economy.
Construction will be complete and ready for EPIC to be open in Spring 2019.
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