The ‘Corona’ art sculpture – created by artist Wolfgang Buttress and Nottingham Trent University scientist Dr Martin Bencsik – on the front of the five-storey building on Lower Parliament Street was lit up last night (April 3). Live data on shifting solar activity, transmitted by NASA satellites, is converted into changing patterns, then relayed through the sculpture’s fibre optic lighting system.
Partners involved in the new building, to enhance the life sciences sector in the city, were invited to watch the amazing display. Its £30m cost has been largely met by Nottingham City Council, with the addition of £6.5million from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and funding from BioCity Nottingham itself.
D2N2 is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire. It is a partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary services which strategically uses Government and EU funding to help promote economic and jobs growth in its area.
D2N2’s money for the new BioCity building came from its Local Growth Fund allocation, funding designed to support infrastructure projects which will directly help the economy. ‘Life sciences’ is one of its designated eight key commercial sectors.
It is expected that the BioCity Discovery building, which adds to the original BioCity building on site, will create around 700 jobs over a 30 year span, whilst safeguarding a further 250. Of the 50,000 square feet of lab and office space available in the Discovery building, 30,000 sq ft has already been reserved for expanding current BioCity tenants Sygnature Discovery; meaning more space will be available in the original building for life sciences start-ups.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “It speaks volumes to Nottingham’s progress that we are able to open not only 50,000 sq ft of new lab space, but we have a unique display of what scientific discovery can create from such a renowned artist as Wolfgang.
“We have been keen to work with BioCity and Wolfgang to develop this building, and highlight that we support the growing and innovative life sciences sector, and our local artists in Nottingham.”
At last night’s official switch on the vital input of the D2N2 LEP into the project was recognised by speakers Councillor Graham Chapman, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, and BioCity Managing Director Toby Reid. The LEP was represented at the event by D2N2 Board Member and businessman Peter Gadsby, who has been closely involved in the BioCity Discovery building.
Pictured above outside the lit up building are (L to R) Mr Gadsby, Cllr Chapman, artist Wolfgang Buttress and Dr Bencsik.
David Ralph, Chief Executive for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Nottingham has seen tremendous growth in the life sciences sector over the last decade and it now needs room to develop further.
“D2N2 is committed to aiding growth in its eight key economic sectors, including life sciences, which is why we invested £6.5million in this state of the art project, put forward by our local authority partner Nottingham City Council.”
For more information on the new BioCity Nottingham Discovery building, go to the web link HERE.
Further information on how D2N2 is using its Local Growth Fund to help grow its area’s economy can be found on the LEP website at www.d2n2lep.org/Growth/Local-Growth-Fund
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