FUNDING for a new science park at Porton Down has been agreed as the Government announces a new Growth Deal scheme.
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills visited Tetricus Science Park at Porton Down on Monday to sign the Swindon and Wiltshire City Deal, which will create 2,000 new jobs in south Wiltshire.
The science park will provide facilities for research, development and advanced skills training for companies specialising in life sciences and healthcare.
It is part of a long-term package of measures that will see £129.1m invested in Swindon and Wiltshire, with £12.8m being confirmed for the first year.
Growth deals aim to spread investment across the country and revitalise local economies.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “For too long our economy has been too London-focussed and too centralised.
“Growth deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great towns and cities, boosting local economies and driving growth across the country.”
At Porton Down, Mr Cable met head of strategy and governance for Dstl Sue Holmes and chairman of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Economic Partnership Barry Dennington to learn more about the benefit of the new science park.
The money will pay for the first phase of the park including a new building and roads across the site, which will be used by innovative life sciences businesses.
It is hoped the companies will be able to set up and expand at Porton Down, bringing new jobs and extra benefits for the area.
“We are thrilled that Porton Science Park will now be delivered, creating 2,000 new jobs,” said Mr Dennington.
Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott added: “Wiltshire welcomes this news and the funding that will be allocated to support economic growth in the county.
“This will help to safeguard and create new jobs and build a skilled workforce for the future.”