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Reading university to build £50m science park

Reading university has unveiled plans to build a new science park spending £50m on the first phase.

The university’s governing body has agreed to invest almost £25m to pay for a relief road to provide access to the scheme as well as a housing development. This will be followed by a further £25m to complete phase one. The science and innovation park will take about 25 years to complete.

The scheme, on a university owned site in Shinfield near the M4 motorway, will include three office and laboratory buildings covering 150,000 - 200,000 sq ft.

Wokingham Borough Council gave planning permission to the scheme in 2010.

The university already operates facilities for 80 companies and is home to the research and development facilities for Mondelez (formerly Kraft).

David Lee, leader of the council, said: “We welcome this great news that the University is making such a significant investment in the Science and Innovation Park. The 150,000 - 200,000 sq ft development will bring major employment to the borough in the form of many high-value, skilled jobs and build on our reputation as a great place to do business.”

Sir David Bell, vice-chancellor of university, said: “There is a substantial market in the region for such a facility, with no dedicated science park currently operating in the Thames Valley or London. We expect strong demand from both UK and international companies seeking a prominent Thames Valley location, while the Science Park will also be the natural choice for London-based companies that are looking for space to expand as well as emergent Thames Valley SMEs.”

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