FUNDING of £5million has been agreed to create an "innovation centre" at Porton Science Park.

Wiltshire Council's cabinet agreed to invest £2.5m of capital funding to create an innovation centre at Porton Science Park.

And a further £2.5m will create an additional building that will "add expansion space, additional employment from the scheme, and enable an economy of scale".

The leader of Wiltshire Council, Philip Whitehead, said: “Porton Science Park has been a real success for south Wiltshire, bringing high value employment to the area and consolidating it as a nationally important centre of excellence in specialist health, life science and defence and security sectors.

“The new innovation centre, which we hope will begin construction later in 2020, will build on the success of Porton Science Park, and enable business there to share resources and technologies, and establish links to higher education institutions, researchers and academics.”

Once completed, the new innovation centre, which is phase two of the project, will provide specialist business support, training and development for scientific businesses on Porton campus.

The initial £2.5m of capital funding matches the £2.5m of European Regional Development Funding for the project, which will not be affected by Brexit, and is subject to the confirmation of this matched funding.

Porton Science Park opened just over a year ago on the science campus that is also home to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Public Health England (PHE) Porton.

The new science park already has more than 100 people working on site.

The first £10m phase opened with funding from Wiltshire Council, the local Growth Fund and the European Regional Development fund working closely with the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).