Two major organisations from Lincoln today revealed plans to build a new business park close to the city centre, hoping it will become a hub for science and technology companies.
The University of Lincoln and the Lincolnshire Co-operative are working together on the project which will see a 10-acre disused industrial site changed into a number of buildings for both educational and commercial purposes.
The university will relocate its School of Life Sciences to the park and also establish a new School of Pharmacy. As a result, existing buildings will be converted into new laboratories and teaching spaces to cater for subjects including biology, biomedical science and bioveterinary science.
The plan is to then encourage students to create their own start-ups within the park and linked to the university, which in turn should encourage larger, established science and technology businesses to set up bases there. The Co-op will also offer placements to the School of Pharmacy within its own pharmacies.
"This is a tremendously exciting step for the university as we strengthen and grow our science provision, and one which will bring massive benefits to the city in terms of employment and inward investment,” said professor Mary Stuart, vice chancellor at the University of Lincoln.
"Highly skilled professionals who have previously looked outside Lincolnshire for career opportunities will be attracted to the area or be encouraged to stay, and the potential to bring in new investors and high-tech businesses to boost the local economy is enormous.”
Investment into the site is expected to reach around £14m from the two organisations. Building has begun to create the university campus and will be completed by the end of 2013. Then, the site will house up to 1,500 students, along with 100 academic and research staff.
Ursula Lidbetter, CEO of Lincolnshire Co-op, added: "We think there's a huge opportunity to turn this underused site into a stimulating place to work and study. It's an ideal location for a science park as it's so close to the University campus and Lincoln city centre.
"As a co-operative, we share our profits with our members and their communities and we want to be involved with developments like this which will bring employment opportunities and investment to the city.”