Plymouth marine centre plans backed by council officers

image captionPlymouth University has invested £11.8m in the project

Plans for a marine centre in Plymouth have been recommended to be approved next week.

The state-of-the-art centre, which will cost £18m, is part of the Plymouth Science and Innovation Programme.

The six-storey building will house two large water tanks as well as teaching space for Plymouth University's School of Marine Science and Engineering.

It will also feature unique equipment to create realistic sea conditions.

Researchers said it would allow them to create waves, wind and sediment inside the building's tanks.

Councillors have been recommended to approve the plans when they meet next week.

Planning officer Robert McMillan, in his report to the committee, said: "This is an exciting project providing the university with a world-class research and teaching facility."

The centre is also being backed by business leaders and Maritime Plymouth.

Economic benefits

It is hoped that what has been described as world-class equipment at the centre will benefit the local economy by bringing wave energy developers to Plymouth.

Jim Knight, Minister for the South West, said: "This project will make Plymouth a global leader in science, innovation and marine research and create new jobs and more opportunities for our young people."

The proposed 4,500 sq m centre forms most of the £25m Plymouth Science and Innovation Programme, a city-wide strategy aimed at creating jobs, businesses and economic success from science and innovation activities.

Plymouth University is the largest contributor to the project, investing £11.8m in the initiative.

Other funders include the South West Regional Development Agency, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Plymouth City Council.

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