The completion of Phase Three of the Malvern Hills Science Park is a timely boost for the region’s knowledge economy, according to Central Technology Belt (CTB) chief executive Alan White.

Officially opened by HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, the 2,000m² expansion is already proving a significant draw for UK technology businesses, with more than 30 per cent of the newly created space let ahead of the opening.

“As the Government places ever increasing importance on the need to improve links between business and the research base, facilities such as these at Malvern will play a crucial role in enabling that technology transfer to happen,” said Mr White.

“Whilst CTB’s main priority is to identify and promote the strengths of the research base along the A38, and encourage businesses to draw upon the immense intellectual capital that resides here, the ability to offer purpose-built, relevant space helps us in that aim.

“What’s more, this space has been created in response to clear need. As one of five purpose-built, or planned, facilities along the corridor, all of which have been strategically sited to capitalize on the local knowledge base, MHSP’s proximity to, and links with, QinetiQ are also proving attractive.

“Whilst the concept of a knowledge economy has been derided by some as a mere buzzword in the face of the catastrophic decline in manufacturing, knowledge work is the fastest growing source of new jobs in the UK economy. Enabling technology transfer lies at the heart of reversing the region’s current economic misfortune.”

The Central Technology Belt aims to harness and build on the skilled workforce and intellectual creativity between Birmingham and Worcestershire to deliver economic transformation. It involves moving the economy away from a reliance on motor manufacturing and related industries towards new sectors, including medical technologies and advanced materials.

It is achieving this through providing places to locate in close proximity to the knowledge supply chain embedded in Aston, Birmingham and Worcester universities.