In­no­va­tion is the aim of EPIC con­struc­tion

Herald Express - - News - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

TOR­BAY’S £8m Elec­tron­ics and Pho­ton­ics In­no­va­tion Cen­tre (EPIC) has reached an­other mile­stone as it en­ters next phase of con­struc­tion.

EPIC will build on the strengths of the hi tech sec­tor in Tor­bay and pro­vide a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence for pho­ton­ics and elec­tron­ics busi­nesses across the South West.

Tor­bay’s mayor Gor­don Oliver said: “The progress be­ing made on EPIC is im­pres­sive. I am grate­ful to our fund­ing part­ners and de­liv­ery part­ners who en­able this swift de­vel­op­ment.

“EPIC will be a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence, sup­port­ing tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion. I am de­lighted the fa­cil­ity will pro­mote col­lab­o­ra­tive ac­tiv­ity be­tween busi­nesses and re­search in­sti­tu­tions. It will also ac­com­mo­date and sup­port start up and spin-off com­pa­nies and en­cour­age for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment to Tor­bay and our mi­cro­elec­tron­ics and pho­ton­ics sec­tor.”

The cen­tre is be­ing de­vel­oped and op­er­ated by TDA, on be­half of Tor­bay Coun­cil. The con­struc­tion, which is be­ing de­liv­ered by In­ter­serve, re­mains on pro­gramme for the cen­tre to be open in spring 2019. The project com­prises a pur­pose-built hi-tech in­no­va­tion cen­tre, along with car park­ing, land­scap­ing and ac­com­pa­ny­ing es­tate road.

To date, the struc­tural steel frame, pre-cast con­crete floors, ground floor slab and stair­cases have been in­stalled. The next steps in­clude se­condary steel work, ex­ter­nal drainage and me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal in­stal­la­tion.

EPIC is partly funded by £3m from the Heart of the South West LEP’s Growth Deal fund- ing. Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP Steve Hind­ley said: “The hi-tech sec­tor is an im­por­tant driver to growth through­out the Heart of the South West area. This new de­vel­op­ment will help gen­er­ate more growth by pro­vid­ing pur­pose-built fa­cil­i­ties for over 70 in­no­va­tion led com­pa­nies, as well as sup­port­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween in­dus­try and cen­tres of learn­ing.”

In ad­di­tion to this, £1.375 mil­lion has been se­cured from the Euro­pean Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Fund.

Lo­cal Growth Min­is­ter Jake Berry said: “Through this £3m in­vest­ment from the Lo­cal Growth Fund, the EPIC cen­tre will sup­port sci­en­tific ad­vance­ment and en­cour­age in­vest­ment in the lo­cal area boost­ing growth in and around Tor­bay.”

EPIC will pro­vide open mar­ket ac­cess to pur­pose-built hi-tech fa­cil­i­ties and spe­cial­ist equip­ment to sup­port R&D, pro­to­typ­ing, in­no­va­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion in emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies, and de­vel­op­ing new in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.

Alan Denby, of the TDA, said: “TDA works closely with the clus­ter of hi-tech busi­nesses in Tor­bay and South Devon and we’re ex­cited by the op­por­tu­ni­ties the cen­tre presents to other hi-tech busi­nesses who could in­vest in Tor­bay. EPIC is a hugely im­por­tant project which com­ple­ments TDA’s work with schools to raise aware­ness of sci­ence and en­gi­neer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able lo­cally through our MADE project.”

The de­vel­op­ment of EPIC and the South Devon Col­lege’s Hi Tech and Dig­i­tal Skills Cen­tre rep­re­sent two sig­nif­i­cant multi-mil­lion pound in­vest­ments within the lo­cal area which are de­signed to sup­port the growth of the hi-tech sec­tor, and sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of Tor­bay’s econ­omy.

The EPIC Cen­tre un­der con­struc­tion

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