Exeter Science Park has celebrated another key milestone with a topping out ceremony at its new grow-on buildings, which have been named by primary school students after three of history’s most inspirational scientists.
Built by Kier Construction, the ‘Lamarr’, ‘Turing’ and ‘Newton’ buildings will provide 27,000 square feet of office and laboratory space and are expected to bring over 200 new jobs to the site at junction 29 of the M5.
Students from five local schools were invited to name the new buildings by submitting a short essay on three inspirational scientists.
Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, said:
The new buildings mark the next phase of growth for Exeter Science Park and we’re pleased to see and to celebrate their progress. With the Science Park Centre now 90% full, this new space will help us to continue to host and connect innovative companies, giving them the space, support and skills for success. We’re extremely grateful to all the funders, partners and friends of Exeter Science Park who have helped to realise the vision of a site that stimulates a knowledge-based economy delivering better jobs, higher productivity and economic growth.
We felt that the naming of the buildings had to fall to the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians and I was so impressed with all the student’s entries. Congratulations to all who entered and especially our winner Amalie, who has chosen to name the buildings Lamarr, Newton and Turing.
Judged by Dr Basker, Cranbrook Education Campus student Amalie Hill, aged nine, was chosen as the winner of the competition, with her choices of:
- Hedy Lamarr, actress and inventor, who patented an idea that later became integral to WiFi and GPS technology;
- renowned mathematician, astronomer and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton;
- Alan Turing, known as the “father of computer science” and famed for his work creating the World War 2 code breaking Enigma machine, who pioneered the concepts of algorithm and computation through the realisation of the Turing Machine, which can be considered the birth of the modern computer and the formalisation of the idea of artificial intelligence.
Award winning US film director, Alexandra Dean, sent a personal video message of congratulations to Amalie for her prize-winning essay that will link Exeter with the Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr – one of the 20th century’s most important female inventors and the subject of Alexandra’s recent movie Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.
Steve Hindley CBE DL, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said:
I am very pleased to see such progress on the new Grow-On buildings at Exeter Science Park, which the LEP helped to fund with a grant of £4.5m from our Growth Deal funding with the Government. The Science Park is part of the Heart of the South West’s multi-site enterprise zones, offering reduced businesses rates and simplified planning, and this new facility provides further space for innovative businesses to grow.
The buildings are the first phase of a wider strategy for the Science Park which sets out a target for over 3,000 people employed in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) businesses on the site by 2034.
Brian Rice, Operations Director for Kier, added:
Reaching the tallest point of the building is a significant milestone in the next phase of Exeter Science Park. The strength in location, coupled with the business support and facilities available, is a winning combination to encourage STEMM organisations to relocate to the area.
Built by Kier Construction, the two-storey buildings have been designed by LHC Architecture + Urbanism, working for NPS South West Property Consultants. The Exeter Science Park ‘grow-on buildings’ are partly funded by £4.5m from the Heart of the South West LEP’s Growth Deal Funding.
The buildings are also partly funded by Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone, Homes and Communities Agency, and the University of Exeter.