The world’s first science and innovation park dedicated to space-related companies has won two prestigious building awards.
Space Park Leicester was officially opened by UK astronaut Tim Peake earlier this year and has built an impressive reputation for itself working on ground-breaking projects such as NASA’s internationally acclaimed James Webb Space Telescope.
The £46.4 million facility designed by Shepheard Epstein Hunter architects and constructed by Bowmer + Kirkland, is home to a community of leading organisations, academics from the University of Leicester and students who are undertaking world-leading research and driving growth in the space and space-enabled sectors.
Now it has added two more accolades to its growing list of achievements having won both the Large Non-Residential Scheme of the Year Award and the Regeneration Project of the Year Award at the ProCon Leicestershire Awards which celebrate the best of the county’s built environment.
Neil Loxton, Head of Project Delivery at the University of Leicester said: “The creation of Space Park Leicester took a long disused, contaminated brownfield site in a flood risk zone and transformed it into a major generator of social, economic and environmental improvement.
“The facility is set to contribute £750 million a year to the UK space sector over the next decade and to support more than 2,500 direct and indirect jobs in the East Midlands.
“The scheme was delivered within budget and on time, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is an incredible success story for Leicester and the East Midlands and we’re thrilled that this world-leading development has been recognised by the judges at the ProCon Leicestershire Awards.”
Space Park Leicester is a project led by the University of Leicester in partnership with Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
The 9,700 m2 facility provides state-of-the-art facilities for research, development and manufacturing, with offices, shared laboratories, teaching facilities and co-working spaces, focussing primarily on research, development and applications of space.
Firms have the opportunity to locate their business on a short- or long-term basis at Space Park Leicester.
Dr Patricia Martin del Guayo, who led Shepheard Epstein Hunter’s team of architects for the project since 2017, said: “This is great recognition for a huge team effort providing something unique in the world which enables industry and university to work closely together on key issues like climate change.
“It has brought a contaminated overgrown site in a flood risk area safely back into use, it welcomes schoolchildren as much as leading researchers and is designed as a low-energy, sustainable project which will last 100 years or more and can change and adapt to support the pioneering research in the building.”
Space Park Leicester’s latest success comes on the back of it winning the Sustainable Project of the Year Award at the East Midlands Property Awards in September.
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