Prime Minister launches Industrial Strategy plans at Sci-Tech Daresbury

The Prime Minister Theresa May and her Cabinet colleagues visited Sci-Tech Daresbury today to see our world-leading science and innovation and support for UK industry.

The Prime Minister met with Senior STFC staff, including Chief Executive Dr Brian Bowsher and Head of Daresbury Laboratory Susan Smith, before holding her first regional cabinet meeting at Daresbury Laboratory’s Campus Technology Hub (CTH), where she launched proposals for a Modern Industrial Strategy.

STFC Chief Executive Dr Brian Bowsher said: “It was fantastic to welcome the Prime Minister and her colleagues to Daresbury Laboratory to showcase UK science and innovation at its very best, and to talk with her about opportunities for us to support the UK’s industrial ambition.”

During the visit, the Prime Minister launched a green paper on the proposed Industrial Strategy, which outlines plans for investment in science, research and innovation, development of technical skills in science, technology, engineering, maths and digital proficiency, and support for businesses and entrepreneurs as they start and grow.

Tim Bestwick, Executive Director of Business and Innovation at STFC said: “We welcome the Industrial Strategy and its commitment to science, innovation and skills. We are in a strong position to support it and the work here at Sci-Tech Daresbury is an excellent example.

“Our Sci-Tech Daresbury and Harwell Campuses are recognised as locations for national and international investment in technology clusters that capitalise on the UK’s multidisciplinary research strengths to drive regional and national growth.”

Following the Cabinet Meeting, the Prime Minister toured VELA (the Versatile Electron Linear Accelerator), an exciting research tool which can be used by industrial teams and academics for research and product development.

As part of her visit to VELA, the Prime Minister met some of the apprentices and former apprentices working on site, including mechanical technician Luke Bladen.

He said: “I felt really proud to meet the Prime Minister and represent the apprentices of STFC.  Apprenticeships are so important to industry, not only here but all around the country.”

The apprenticeship scheme across STFC is well-established, with plans to expand from engineering to computing and scientific apprenticeships to meet the future skills requirements of the UK economy.

The Prime Minister held a roundtable discussion with campus business leaders. The representatives, comprised of tenants based at the site, welcomed the opportunity to talk with the Prime Minister about the Government’s Industrial Strategy and how it could support innovation and growth.

Dr Diane Cresswell, Executive Director Business Development, Bionow, said: “The Prime Minister’s decision to engage directly with technology SMEs on the day the Industrial Strategy was launched is most welcome.  The Prime Minster listened closely to insights about the challenges in sourcing the investment, funding and skills that SMEs need to drive their businesses forward.”

Sci-Tech Daresbury is home to more than 120 research organisations and high-tech businesses across fields including advanced engineering and materials, biomedicine and healthcare.  The campus supports, directly and indirectly, almost 2,000 jobs across the UK.

Image credit: STFC