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17 June 2010, 06:00
A huge development creating thousands of jobs has been given the green light in Wokingham.
The University of Reading got planning permission to develop the site in the Shinfield area near the M4 last month.
It's hoped the Science and Innovation Park will attract research and development, laboratories and high-tech industries bringing jobs to the Wokingham.
A highly skilled workforce working with the knowledge base and technical facilities in and around the university will be needed, as well as support and service staff.
It's going to take about 20-25 years until the park's completely finished, but the "first phase" of building should be done in about five years time. That will require 750 staff.
Cllr Angus Ross, executive member for planning for Wokingham Borough Council, said:
"This is an exciting scheme for the Wokingham Borough, and I am delighted the borough council has been able to give outline planning permission for the park. It will bring a new opportunity for new entrepreneurs to start up in our borough. We will see high-quality jobs being created right on our door step for many local people.
"The borough council is working hard to promote the prosperity of the local area and this scheme, in collaboration with University of Reading will go a long way to benefit the local economy. The scheme will also benefit the local infrastructure around the Black Boy roundabout and the crossing of the M4.”
Professor Gordon Marshall, vice-chancellor of the University of Reading, said:
“Strong partnerships and close working relationships, particularly with the local authority and community, are vital to the success of a complex project such as the Science and Innovation Park. We are delighted that Wokingham Borough Council is taking such a supportive approach to the project.
“During this week’s ‘Universities Week’, universities up and down the country are marking the many ways in which they contribute to the economic and social well-being of the nation. Our university contributes over £600 million to the regional economy every year. The new Science and Innovation Park will ensure that this impact continues to grow and delivers tangible benefits to the local and regional economy.”