A planning application for the new proposed Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC) has been submitted to Torbay Council’s Planning Department.

EPIC is being developed by TDA, on behalf of Torbay Council. The submission represents a key milestone for the project. The planning application comprises of a 3,834m² modern, purpose-built hi tech innovation Centre, along with car parking, landscaping and accompanying estate road.

Torbay’s elected Mayor and Executive Lead for Finance and Regeneration, Gordon Oliver, said: “Torbay is one of the top five locations in England for photonics expertise and a key location for advanced electronics engineering. EPIC will provide an important Centre for research, product design and new development in cutting edge technologies. Torbay’s strong local supply chain, highly trained employees, excellent access to markets and integrated business network will further support this project.”

The proposed Centre is four stories comprising of fifteen laboratories and clean rooms, up to 27 offices, along with reception and meetings rooms. The new Centre will be a cornerstone in supporting the growing hi tech sector across in Torbay and across Devon and Somerset.

The photonics sector nationally is estimated to contribute over £12.9 billion annually to the UK’s economy, growing at around 5.3%. It employs around 65,000 people across 1,500 photonics companies. Torbay is renowned for its unique specialisms and capabilities in new innovations and R&D within the sector.

Alan Denby, Director of Economic Strategy at TDA, said: “This is a key milestone in an exciting flagship project for Torbay which is designed to support and grow an important sector in the area. The submission of this application shows our tangible progress, and we will be making further announcements shortly as more key milestones are achieved. The submission of planning for this development is a significant piece of the jigsaw in the economic regeneration of White Rock, and complements the proposed development of South Devon College’s new Hi tech and Digital Skills Centre.”

EPIC will provide open market access to purpose built hi tech facilities and specialist equipment to support R&D, prototyping, innovation and collaboration in emerging technologies, and developing new intellectual property.

Martin Foulger, Chair of the Hi Tech Forum, said: “EPIC will promote collaborative activity between businesses and research institutions, commercialising R&D and bringing forward new technology to the electronics and photonics marketplace, along with accommodating and supporting start-up and spin-off tech companies. EPIC offers a highly valuable and much needed facility to support hi-tech companies and develop the area’s growing cluster.”

The development of EPIC and the South Devon College’s Hi tech and Digital Skills Centre represent two significant multi million pound investments within the local area which are designed to support the growth of the area’s hi tech sector, and support the development of Torbay’s economy.

 


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