Research & Development

Space City Leicester

Space City Leicester is centrally based in Leicester, part of the UK Enterprise Zone network, is home to the highly successful Dock managed workspace, supporting over 50 innovative, knowledge/R&D-focused technology businesses, the National Space Centre and the new £100m Space Park Leicester, offering space and high-tech focused businesses access to 2,000 m² of R&D laboratories and business hosting facilities, alongside access to leading academics and networking opportunities.

Leicester City Council secured funding to deliver further managed workspace to complement the Dock space, and bring forwards a 1.6-hectare development site for space and engineering businesses – available from 2024. Additionally, a 3,700 m² space and satellite technology manufacturing facility will enable high growth SMEs to access advanced technology and services, adjacent to Space Park Leicester.

Key facts

  • £100m innovation hub
  • A world-leading space and Earth observation cluster
  • Space Park Leicester is a collaborative community of industry, academics and students working together to drive growth in the space sector
  • The space sector underpinned approximately 15% of the UK’s economic activity in 2020 and this is forecast to grow significantly

Opportunity location

Why invest in Leicestershire?

Welcome to Leicester & Leicestershire – the largest economy in the East Midlands.
We benefit from outstanding assets including a vibrant, university city with a strong industrial and cultural heritage; two unique and inspiring Enterprise Zones; a UK Freeport at East Midlands Airport; three world class universities delivering cutting edge innovation, research, and design; a central location with strategic rail and motorway links, one of Europe’s largest distribution parks and the UK’s largest pure cargo airport; and two Manufacturing Zones. We’re home to Caterpillar, Next, Santander, Walkers Snack Foods (PepsiCo), IBM Client Innovation Centre UK and Amazon.

Key strategic developments include Leicester Waterside and Station Regeneration, Space Park Leicester, offering high-tech facilities and capabilities building on the University of Leicester’s space excellence; Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, a dynamic innovation community with serviced development land opportunities; and Lutterworth East a trailblazing, sustainable housing and employment development.

Leicester is considered one of the best cities to do business in. Unrivalled transport links, a skilled and talented workforce of over 2.8 million within a 1-hour drive-time and one of Britain’s most attractive and cost-effective places to develop, own or lease property – presenting huge investment opportunities.

Insight for investors

  • Type of Investment Sought: Development funding, equity, debt finance, co-development, occupier
  • Target Investor(s): Space and knowledge driven manufacturing / engineering companies to grow the cluster
  • Value and cost info: £130m GDV
  • Site Size: 5.6ha
  • Timescale: 2023-25
  • Delivery Timescale: Immediate
  • Planning Status: Outline Pre-application Local Plan Allocation
Primary promoter

University of Leicester / Leicester City Council