Posted: Tue 5th Jul 2022

Major Wrexham Glyndwr University project moves a step closer to securing funding for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jul 5th, 2022

A new project which aims to help manufacturing businesses in the region to decarbonise has moved a step closer to securing funding. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

An outline business case for the initiative, which was been put forward by the Wrexham Glyndwr University Enterprise Engineering and Optics Centre (EEOC), has been backed by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The project will be delivered across two University sites, St Asaph and Plas Coch in Wrexham. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It aims to help manufacturing businesses in the region to decarbonise by exploring the integrated use of optics, photonics and composites as alternative, lighter-weight solutions with applications across all specialisms of manufacturing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Enterprise Engineering and Optics Centre hopes to bridge the gap by providing facilities and researchers from the university to work with businesses to explore solutions. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Businesses will be able to use the facilities to fabricate and test materials and components within a controlled environment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The intention is that this will lead to products and systems which are more efficient and require less energy, minimising costs and emissions. The project will create local employment opportunities and aims to attract inward investment into the region. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn, Chair of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board and leader of Gwynedd County Council, said: “We are pleased that the Enterprise Engineering and Optics Centre has reached this milestone. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It is the first project within the Innovation in High Value Manufacturing programme to reach this stage. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“There’s no doubt that the project can drive product development in low carbon technologies, critical to the future success of regional businesses.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Approval of this stage means the project can now move forward to detailed project design and is a step closer to securing £9.85 million of the Growth Deal investment. Its funding application also set out how the project would leverage further investment as a part of the University’s wider Campus 2025 redevelopment ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Professor Aulay Mackenzie, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Partnerships) at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, added: “Located in North East Wales, Wrexham Glyndŵr University has strong links with industry in the surrounding region and strong strategic partnerships with employers and industry. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Investment from the North Wales Growth Deal is vital to the construction of the Enterprise Engineering and Optics Centre, a key element in the refurbishment and upgrading of facilities at our Wrexham and St Asaph sites. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Building on existing expertise and strategic links within the University, the new Centre and provision of cutting-edge equipment will enable expansion of our research capacity to support local manufacturing businesses of all types to meet the pressing need to become more efficient and reduce carbon emissions.’’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The next step will be for the project to deliver a full business case, which will enable work to begin on the Centre. The aim is to start construction towards the end of 2023, with an opening date estimated for 2025. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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