Aberystwyth University, together with the Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus (AIEC), has formally submitted a full planning application to Ceredigion County Council for the £40.5m development, to be based on Aberystwyth University’s Gogerddan campus, which will feature a bio-refining centre, future food centre, analytical science laboratories and a seed processing and biobank facility.
The full application comes following a comprehensive public consultation period where interested parties had an opportunity to learn more about the proposed improvements to the existing Gogerddan campus on the outskirts of Aberystwyth.
The consultation process also provided the project team with helpful and informative feedback to assist with the preparation of the final application.
Speaking on behalf of the Project Team, Huw Watkins Project Director commented; “it was essential that the community were given the opportunity to examine the proposals, ask questions and learn more about the vision, impact and timeline. The feedback was extremely positive and most valuable to the project team. It allowed us to progress community benefits such as solutions to address highway concerns. We will be working closely with Ceredigion County Council during the next few months to facilitate a series of improvements that work for all stakeholders.”
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government; the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and by Aberystwyth University, the Innovation and Enterprise Campus will provide world leading facilities and the expertise to create market focused solutions for the agri-tech industry.
Planning consultant Cushman & Wakefield has been integral to this process, particularly in supporting the AIEC project team with the preparation and submission of the planning application.
“The submission of the planning application is a significant milestone for the AIEC project. It is the result of extensive pre-application engagement and dialogue with Ceredigion County Council and local stakeholders, with the cooperation and collaboration of all parties being the key to its successful submission and validation in line with the critical path project delivery programme” said Andrew Teage, Associate – Planning and Development at Cushman & Wakefield.
AIEC will provide a progressive environment to encourage business and academic collaboration to flourish, by offering a range of high quality facilities to support the translation of research and innovation, enabling commercial enterprises to grow, prosper and drive economic growth in Mid -Wales and beyond.
AIEC will also provide formal and informal meeting areas and office/laboratory accommodation for companies.
It will build on the existing capabilities within Aberystwyth University’s Institutes, working particularly closely with the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) to enhance, and enable access to, the excellent research capabilities currently offered.
One of the existing buildings which will form part of the AIEC on the Gogerddan site has already been refurbished to a high standard and provides over 300m2 of rentable office accommodation to the business community. The facility has been modernised to cater specifically for companies wishing to co-locate with leading researchers in the biosciences and agri-tech sectors.
A decision on the planning application is expected in the Spring of 2017. If planning permission is granted, construction is proposed to start mid-2017 and is expected to take two years to complete.