Latest News - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point

Climate Cluster one Step Closer as Work Starts on New Road on Science Park

East Devon MP joins celebration to mark the next chapter in Exeter Science Park development

Foreign Office Minister & MP for East Devon Hugo Swire joined stakeholders at the Exeter Science Park on Monday 10 November 2014 to celebrate the start of work on the park’s climate cluster, where the Met Office recently announced their next generation supercomputer would be based, subject to planning permission.

The cutting of the first turf heralded the start of work on the road opening up this new cluster, which has been aptly named ‘Upper Richardson’ after meteorologist Lewis Fry Richardson who first proposed numerical weather prediction (NWP) modelling.

The road has been funded from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Regional Growth Fund, opening up of the site for the Met Office and climate cluster, known as the Global Environmental Futures (GEF) Campus.

Cllr Pete Edwards, Chair of the Exeter and Heart of Devon Growth Board and Leader of Exeter City Council said: "This is another significant step in the development of Exeter Science Park, which will strengthen the economic growth of the area. The siting of the Met Office’s supercomputer at the Science Park is exciting news and should trigger additional investment by businesses providing further confirmation that world class knowledge based organisations can thrive in this part of the country."


Hugo Swire MP with partnership reps at the turf cutting of the BIS funded road to the climate cluster on Science Park


Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: "It was a huge achievement for Devon when the Met Office moved its headquarters to Exeter in 2003. This latest investment by the Met Office in creating a new climate research supercomputer on the Science Park will place Devon and Exeter at the forefront of climate research. This is exactly the sort of high tech investment that the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point was designed to attract and it is delivering on that. Devon County Council has invested significant time and resource in bringing the Science Park to fruition and I anticipate that the Met Office will act as a real catalyst in driving job growth and private sector investment."

Amongst guests at the event was mathematician and joint Met Office Professor in Climate Change, Mat Collins from the University of Exeter, who commented, "The Global Environmental Futures Campus is an exciting opportunity not only to enhance our collaborative research activities with the Met Office, allowing further breakthroughs in the fields of weather and climate science, but also enhancing academic interaction with business to support innovation and boost the impact of our research".

South West Highways Ltd has been appointed to build the road, which is due to be completed by April 2015 and work on the Met Office IT hall and collaboration space will start early 2015.

This is the second cluster (out of six) on the park to be developed, those interested in moving to the park or to find out more about the project can contact the Exeter Science Park team on 01392 72 2666.  

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council added: "Today’s event is a confirmation of the Local Authority partners’ commitment to collaboration in investment in the Science Park and the wider Growth Point, which we confidently expect to become a magnet for high quality jobs and investment and putting East Devon on the map as the place that delivers good growth."

Following the event Hugo Swire was given an update on progress on the other schemes in the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.

He met with representatives from SkyPark, and the E.ON Energy Centre before going on to tour Cranbrook to see for himself how the new community is developing, taking in the train station site, the neighbourhood shops and the education campus before meeting key members of the community at St. Martins Primary School. Issued by ESP 10 November 2014

Issued by ESP 10 November 2014