Wednesday, 02 March 2021 15:05

Knowledge Economy Specialists to advance plans for new Innovation Park

Artists impression of the £80m Innovation Park

Queen Margaret University (QMU) has retained knowledge economy consultancy CAM-SCI to lead development of the detailed business plan for an £80m Innovation Park on the land adjacent to its Musselburgh campus.

The decision to retain the consultancy was made after a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) consultation in September 2015 saw support for the concept gather pace.

As East Lothian Council moves towards finalising the East Lothian Development Plan, QMU is progressing its vision for local and regional social and economic development around its campus, aiming to protect this land for the development of specialist facilities to support businesses in high-growth innovation sectors.

Cambridge-based CAM-SCI, which has a strong track record in guiding some of the UK’s most successful innovation and science parks from concept development through to funding and delivery, last year worked with QMU to advance the University’s vision for this employment-focused hub. The University’s development strategy also provides for an enterprise hub to deliver retail and leisure facilities for students, staff and the surrounding local communities.

Commenting on CAM-SCI’s appointment, QMU Principal Professor Petra Wend said: “Our proposed development is market distinctive and complementary to Edinburgh Bioquarter and other developments in the region. After receiving a favourable response to our initial community consultations last autumn, we are now ramping up our efforts to make our vision of a thriving commercial community, providing sustainable employment opportunities and facilities for businesses to grow, become a reality.’

“CAM-SCI has a proven record of delivering value for universities, businesses and communities across the UK. Retaining their services to progress the next stage of our plans to secure the land, planning and financial investment required to deliver the Innovation Hub underlines the university’s commitment to drive innovation and create prosperity for East Lothian and the wider Scottish economy. We believe there is demand and real potential for the University to be at the heart of a transformational project that will bring new opportunity and vitality to the region.”

The University has identified food and drink, entrepreneurship in the creative industries, and biomedical and enabling technologies for rehabilitation as key areas of innovation and growth. Phase One of the innovation park is for the development of a 5,000 sqm innovation centre.

The co-located commercial development will create a vibrant area that combines innovation activity with the support of the University’s academic resources together with local amenities. It is a community focused scheme that will provide a range of facilities including retail, coffee shops, health and fitness, hotel and residential accommodation.

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