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Daresbury Laboratory: Skilled Workers

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what progress has been made by the Science and Technology Facilities Council on implementing its policy to retain key skills at Daresbury laboratory; and if he will make a statement. (206311)

STFC is aiming to retain important skills at the Daresbury Science and Innovation campus to resource the range of scientific research investments being planned for its future. I have most recently announced a £25 million investment by St. Modwen, a private sector developer that will be investing in a new (Vanguard House) business incubator facility at Daresbury to accommodate the rapidly growing (over 65) science and technology-based companies at the site, and new start-up science and technology businesses emerging in part from Daresbury’s own leading scientific research programme. STFC has also tabled proposals for a new computer science centre at Daresbury (Hartree) and, in conjunction with its sister campus at Harwell, a new detector systems centre. These proposed centres would add to the existing Cockcroft Institute for accelerator research and the contribution that Daresbury is making to the preparatory phase of the New Light Source project. Taken together, I believe that the portfolio of facilities and projects at Daresbury will continue to sustain and develop its leading edge skills—which are highly valued by me and my Department. We are fully committed to the development of the Daresbury Science and Innovation campus as announced in Budget 2006.