Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Work starts on space technology centre in Edinburgh

Higgs centre artist impression Image copyright jmarchitects

Construction work has begun on a centre to support businesses involved in space technology in Edinburgh.

The Higgs Centre for Innovation is being built at the Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill.

The centre is named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs, who received the Nobel Prize for his prediction of the existence of the Higgs Boson particle.

The Higgs Boson was discovered at CERN in Switzerland in 2012. The centre is due to be completed in 2017.

It is funded through a £10.7m investment from the UK government.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council will invest £2m over five years to operate the centre.

Image copyright jmarchitects

It will help connect engineers, academics and PhD students working directly with small businesses.

The building will be run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council in partnership with Edinburgh University.

Gillian Wright, director of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, said: "A huge amount of work has been put in by all partners over the past year to develop plans for the Higgs Centre for Innovation and now we begin the exciting phase of seeing it built before our eyes.

"We look forward to the completion of this important project and the benefits it will bring to both future generations of scientists and industry."

Professor James Dunlop, head of the Institute for Astronomy at Edinburgh University, said: "The new centre will cement Edinburgh's reputation as a world leader in the fields of astrophysics and big data, and provide new opportunities for knowledge exchange between astronomers, particle physicists, engineers and industry."

Image copyright Jason Cowan
Image caption Work to build the centre began on Wednesday

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