Reading University science park funding agreed

Thames Valley Science Park Image copyright Reading University
Image caption When complete, the 42-acre site will have the capacity to employ 5,000 people.

Work on a new science park is expected to begin before Easter following the approval of funding by Reading University.

The £36m will fund the first phase of the Thames Valley Science Park - the Gateway Building - which will form the entrance to the new site.

The building will include laboratory space, a cafe, conference facilities and meeting spaces.

The full science park will take up 25 years to be fully developed.

First tenants

The new 42-acre site, south of the M4 in Shinfield, will eventually provide 800,000 sq ft (74,000 sq m) of laboratory and office space across the site, with the potential to employ up to 5,000 people, according to the university.

The first tenants are due to be announced from the autumn and the first building is due to open in spring 2017.

The initial phase will also include a road link to the Eastern Relief Road, pedestrian and cycle paths and digital network links.

University of Reading Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell said: "The Thames Valley Science Park will generate jobs, promote innovation and stimulate growth - nurturing start-up business and helping small firms grow rapidly.

"This initial building phase means we are on track to open next year, with the first wave of tenants confirmed later in 2016."

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