Cardiff University signs Innovation Campus deal

A deal to build the next phase of Cardiff University’s Innovation Campus will create more than 60 jobs, apprenticeships and placements.

Bouygues UK Limited, a leading construction company with a track record in urban regeneration, will develop a disused railway yard into a centrepiece for innovation.

Cardiff Innovation Campus (CIC) will provide cutting-edge facilities that help researchers, students and industry work together to build enterprises that create products, spin-outs, start-ups and social enterprises.

Work on the site will create immediate jobs across construction and allied trades. When officially opened, CIC will be home to hundreds of academic researchers, students and university staff working alongside the private, public and third sectors to exploit new ideas.

The Campus, at Maindy Park, will feature two new centres driving innovation. One will house SPARK, the world’s first social science research park, and the Innovation Centre – a creative space for start-ups, spin-outs and partnerships. The other will be home to two world-leading scientific research establishments – the Institute for Compound Semiconductors and Cardiff Catalysis Institute.

Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University, said: “Cardiff Innovation Campus is right at the heart of our long-term commitment to build social and economic prosperity in Wales for the benefit of all. We are delighted to be working with Bouygues UK to create a ‘Home of Innovation’ that unlocks the power of research. CIC will create jobs, act as a crucible for ideas, and allow future generations of students with great ideas to find new ways of tackling pressing global problems.”

Cardiff Innovation Campus has already attracted substantial co-funding including £17m from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, £13m from the Welsh European Funding Office and £12m from Welsh Government.

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, said: “We are proud to be directly supporting the Cardiff Innovation Campus. The project aligns with our Economic Action Plan, which I published in December, which sets out a clear whole Government approach to building stronger foundations for our economy and supercharging the industries of the future.

“I am determined that Wales will exploit the emerging technologies that will be based in these state-of-the-art facilities and am confident that the Cardiff Innovation Campus will help private and public sector partnerships to flourish, will create a range of high quality jobs and will develop exciting new products and services that can be used in Wales and throughout the world.”

Bouygues UK secured the CIC contract thanks to its impressive work on similar projects, including building significant higher education developments across Wales, the UK and globally. The build will help create jobs in construction management, technical and trades roles including apprenticeships for many local people.

Rob Bradley, Regional Managing Director Bouygues UK, said: “This is a significant development for Cardiff University, which will see us use our strong technical team to deliver a state-of-the-art project providing significant economic benefits to the University and the wider Cardiff Capital Region. Our commitment to the region will ensure that this project contributes to increasing local skills, development and employment in Wales. We will provide a minimum of 30 work placements, create over 35 new job and apprentice opportunities, and deliver in excess of 1685 training weeks. We will also facilitate placements for students studying architecture and ensure we work closely with the local community throughout the duration of the scheme.”

The Campus deal complements the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, signed in 2017, which brings 10 of Cardiff’s neighbouring local authorities together to tackle regional issues including worklessness and connectivity.

Cardiff University is transforming its estate for the 21st Century – the biggest campus upgrade for a generation. CIC is due to be completed by 2021.