Space Park

The European Space Agency (ESA) has chosen Leicester for a new space tech incubation centre.

The University of Leicester is leading a £100m Leicester Space Park development sitting close to the National Space Centre. Having been impressed by the plans the ESA has chosen to launch a branch of its Business Incubation Centre for space tech start-ups at the site.

The ESA already teams up with several locations in the UK – such as the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire and Sci-Tech Daresbury in the North West – and their positive experience in the UK coupled with the University of Leicester’s global reputation for satellite research has seen them win the new bid.

ESA will join global names who’ve already committed to the Space Park – including Airbus, Amazon, Hewlett Packard and Thales Alenia Space.

Grant Bourhill, Chief executive of Leicester Science Park and speaker at our upcoming The Space Sector and the Built Environment Conference, said: “Leicester has consistently been recognised as one of the best cities in the UK for start-ups and the ESA BIC at Space Park will offer access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, partnership working with our academic and student talent, as well as co-location with other companies.

“The space sector already underpins burgeoning commercial markets in communications, location based services and earth observation, and the ESA BIC will support new entrants to these and other space-enabled markets. This is an exciting step forward for the East Midlands.”

The university said the space sector contributes £300 billion and growing to the UK economy, and employs more than 40,000 people here.