To help strengthen commercial relationships between business and CCCU, South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has agreed to provide £6m of funding to create The Kent & Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub.
The EDGE Hub will be a new industry-led centre for advanced manufacturing, life sciences and healthcare and deliver industry collaboration, research and innovation.
Based in Canterbury, the new 3,588m2 facility will be supported by satellite facilities at Discovery Park in Sandwich; Kent Science Park near Sittingbourne, and the university’s Medway Campus.
It has been estimated the EDGE will help bring 1,250 new learners with higher level Engineering and Technology skills into the labour market by 2024.
Work is expected to get under way on the construction of The EDGE Hub in 2018.
The funding from SELEP has come from the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF).
The £6.12m of LGF funding will unlock a further £7.2m from CCCU and £6.5m from the Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE) for the construction and equipment costs of the Kent and Medway EDGE Hub.
In addition to the core funding, CCCU will be investing £10.5m with a further £0.5m from HEFCE for the delivery of the innovative educational programmes.
As part of the business case for the funding support from SELEP, it has been calculated that the EDGE Hub will be worth an estimated £7.6m to £11.4m per year to the Kent and Medway economy once it is fully operational.
Christian Brodie, Chairman of SELEP, said: “This is exactly the type of project that we want to see coming forward in our roles as champions for economic growth in Kent and Medway alongside East Sussex, Essex, Southend and Thurrock.
It is driven by our area’s Higher Education community that recognises it is integral to the success of supporting the creation of high value employment, business growth and local investment in Engineering and Technology businesses.
The Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, said: “We are delighted to be awarded further funding of £7million for the EDGE Hub by the HEFCE Catalyst Fund. This is in addition to the £6.12million we received from SELEP earlier this year.
The funding will help us to fulfil our ambition to build this new facility and bring high level STEM education to Kent and Medway, boosting the number of graduates with key engineering and technology skills entering the South East labour market, and supporting local businesses.
See here the business case for funding in Kent & Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE).
This project forms one of many to help areas with SELEP’s jurisdiction to transform locality, employability to maximise commercial opportunities.