£13.75m boost for Space Park Leicester

UK from space

The University of Leicester has announced that its new Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and Earth Observation Research Centre (METEOR) has received nearly £14m in funding.

The investment, which comes from Round 6 of Research England’s flagship capital investment scheme, the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), will leverage a further £50m of investments in space and Earth observation (EO) research in Leicester.

METEOR will be a key part of Space Park Leicester: a new research, innovation and teaching hub that will bring together academic research, including from the University of Leicester, and industrial space and Earth observation R&D.

The Centre will revolutionise how satellites are conceived, designed, operated and produced, as well as how data derived from them is interpreted and used to solve real-world problems.

Space Park Leicester is due to open in late 2020.

Professor Edmund Burke, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “We are so delighted to have been awarded the METEOR funding. Leicester has a reputation for developing cutting-edge space technology, with University-built instruments in space every year since 1967. For over 50 years we have played key roles in space missions including playing a significant role in the BepiColombo mission to Mercury, which launched just last year.

“We look forward to Space Park Leicester being a catalyst for future space advancements and the University strengthening our expertise as we contribute towards the UK’s ambition to be a world leader in space.”

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “Space Park Leicester is central to our long-term strategy for Leicester and Leicestershire. The aim is to build a world-class centre of space research and innovation, which will be at the centre of the United Kingdom’s space technology industry for decades to come.

“The LLEP has allocated £12.88m from our Local Growth Fund to support the development of Space Park Leicester and the area is also one of the designated sites within the Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone.”