Science park over half full in just six months

Bangor Mail - - WRITTEN BY YOU -

AN­GLE­SEY’S cut­ting-edge, £20m science park build­ing is now more than half full – just six months af­ter open­ing its doors.

The eye-catch­ing Menai Science Park (M-SParc) de­vel­op­ment is de­signed to at­tract businesses from the ICT, science and re­search sec­tors – although it was writ­ten off by some as a ‘white ele­phant’ be­fore it was even built.

But it has blown away any clouds of doubt af­ter a rapid start which has seen the main build­ing hit 55% ca­pac­ity –with 17 firms on site.

There are also more com­pa­nies lined up to move in over the com­ing weeks and re­cruit­ment is un­der way by many of the ex­ist­ing ten­ants so that fig­ure is now ex­pected to keep rising.

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor for M-SParc Pry­deri ap Rhisiart said: “We knew the de­mand was there but it has out­stripped what we ex­pected.

2There are now at least 120 work­ing here and a num­ber of firms ac­tively re­cruit­ing. We also have more businesses now due to move in.”

Emily Roberts, ad­min­is­tra­tor and mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at M-SParc, said: “We thought peo­ple would come in grad­u­ally but peo­ple want to be the first ones here. It is bring­ing some­thing pos­i­tive to An­gle­sey so young peo­ple can feel there is some­thing here for them rather than hav­ing to move away.

“It shows that, if you are in that tech field, you don’t have to move away.”

John Rooney, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer for M-SParc, said: “It is a very fast start for the science park, which is very en­cour­ag­ing. If you speak to other science parks, they say to get to ca­pac­ity of 80% or 90% you are look­ing at 8-10 years, so for us to get com­fort­ably over 50% in this pe­riod is very en­cour­ag­ing.

“Once peo­ple start to see suc­cess in any field, then they want to be part and par­cel of that as well, so now we have built up some mo­men­tum we get more peo­ple and a high level of in­ter­est.

“Peo­ple are com­ing from a num­ber of sources. You look at the build­ing and ask ‘would you want to be here’ and the an­swer in the ma­jor­ity of cases is ‘yes’. It is a good re­flec­tion on your own busi­ness and a state­ment of in­tent.

“Part of com­ing here is hav­ing the scope to ex­pand. We want peo­ple to grow to big­ger op­er­a­tions and the space is still there to ac­com­mo­date them.”

There is space and out­line per­mis­sion to build ex­tra units in the grounds - out­side the main build­ing.

Mr ap Rhisiart said: “That is the dream, to de­velop these out over the next 10 to 15 years – get them all filled with good, well-paid jobs.

“There is a mix­ture of peo­ple want­ing to come here, from a one-per­son busi­ness, to peo­ple em­ploy­ing 50 or 60 work­ers. There are big names in dis­cus­sion with us.

“It is good hav­ing that mix and hav­ing that col­lab­o­ra­tion and peo­ple then start do­ing projects to­gether.”

The 5000sqm, three-storey science park hosts a state-of-the-art lab­o­ra­tory, of­fice and work­shop space, and meet­ing rooms – as well as a café where em­ploy­ees from across the science park and stu­dents from Ban­gor Univer­sity can meet to share knowl­edge and ideas.

Tech­nol­ogy firm Fu­turium – which can bring plans to life in an­i­ma­tion vir­tual re­al­ity – moved across from Ty Menai in Ban­gor as they looked to ex­pand the busi­ness.

Menai Science Park on An­gle­sey

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