Shepheard Epstein Hunter has designed Space Park Leicester for the University of Leicester. We have prepared the masterplan for the former John Ellis School site (adjacent to the listed Abbey Pumping Station Museum) which has evolved from initial feasibility studies of 2015.
SEH is architect for both Phase One, which has been on site since October 2019, and Phase Two, which is expected to start later this year, both phases finishing in 2021.
The University describes SPL as providing '... state-of-the-art, high-tech facilities for research, development and manufacturing' and housing university departments and '...companies covering an end-to-end capability, from satellite design and engineering, through to downstream data and its applications...' creating '...unmatched opportunities for collaboration...where industry and academia join forces'. Space Park Leicester will '...drive research excellence and application...support industrial growth in the sector and...develop the skills needed to deliver...expansion of the space (and wider) economy.'
Phase One provides a mix of teaching, laboratory, office and collaboration space; Phase Two adds laboratories, workshops and clean rooms which will deliver the METEOR (Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and Earth Observation Research Centre) programme and has received nearly £14 million in funding through Round 6 of Research England’s flagship capital investment scheme, the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). This funding is expected to leverage a further £50 million of investments in space and Earth observation (EO) research in Leicester, and the Centre '...will revolutionise how satellites are conceived, designed, operated and produced, as well as how data derived from them is interpreted and used to solve real world problems'.