Sciontec reveals plans for £2m investment in Sensor City as part of ownership switch

Sensor City

Sciontec Developments is in the latter stages of transferring the ownership of Sensor City.

The deal would see Sensor City join the growing Sciontec group of innovation facilities, which already includes Liverpool Science Park.

Sciontec is a public-private partnership supporting the growth of Liverpool’s science and technology sector within the city’s £2bn Knowledge Quarter. Manchester property business Bruntwood SciTech holds a 25% stake in the business.

Located on Copperas Hill in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool Innovation District (KQ Liverpool), Sensor City first opened in 2017 and was later closed during the national lockdown in December 2020. Although closed to the public, the building has played an important role as a vaccination centre for students and as part of a European Research programme.

Recognising Sensor City’s greater potential, Sciontec has been working closely with Sensor City’s current owners, Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, and key grant funders, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities to obtain the consents it needs and finalise a deal to transfer the ownership of the Sensor City company to Sciontec.

On completion of the deal, Sciontec’s shareholders – Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool City Council and Bruntwood SciTech – plan to invest in excess of £2m to upgrade, modernise and relaunch Sensor City as a global hub for innovation, technology, digitalisation and the internet of things, building on its existing commitment to sensor technologies.

This will include submitting planning proposals by the end of the year for the redevelopment and reconfiguration of Sensor City to provide additional innovative workspace and labs across its four floors.

Sciontec completed a similar process in taking ownership of Liverpool Science Park in 2020, which saw occupancy levels improve significantly and increased retained profits over the past two years, with the three Science Park buildings operating at full capacity and more than £1m recently invested in the new entrance and other enhanced customer facilities.

Prof Keith George, chair of Sensor City Liverpool Limited and pro-vice chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at Liverpool John Moores University, said: “We are looking forward to finalising the details with Sciontec for the new investment in the building, which will enable us to drive forward research and business growth in the technology sector.”

Colin Sinclair, CEO of KQ Liverpool and Sciontec, said: “This landmark deal with our university partners will mark an exciting transformation in the life of Sensor City.

“We are really looking forward to operating Sensor City alongside the successful Liverpool Science Park and further helping to create high value jobs and grow the city region economy, through science and technology, health and wellbeing.”

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