Science park over half full in just six months
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