Getting Building Fund boosting economic growth in Bucks

“Our most innovative industries will benefit from the government’s investment in Buckinghamshire as part of the plan to help get Britain building. This will strengthen the county’s connectivity and creativity, help drive the local economy and support jobs.”  Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dinenage MP.

Bucks LEP is seeing rapid progress in the ten key projects allocated £7.7m of the Governments Getting Building Fund to support economic growth in Bucks. This investment into ‘shovel-ready’ projects in Buckinghamshire is creating hundreds of new jobs and opportunities for training and provide facilities for education and space for new businesses to develop their ideas.

European Astrotech are proud to be recipients of Getting Building Funding, which is supporting the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Rocket Engine and Flow Tests Facility at Westcott. This investment by Bucks LEP will strengthen our competitive advantage and opens up the next stage in the evolution of the Westcott site to attract new business and investment to this world-class centre of excellence in space propulsion.” Sam Green, Operations Director at European Astrotech Limited

This funding will drive the economic recovery and support continued delivery of Buckinghamshire’s Local Industrial Strategy and growth within our four key sectors, Upstream Space, Creative and Digital, Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing and Medical Technology and Health.

Project summaries and progress updates:

Satellite Applications Catapult have developed an exciting proposition as the initial phase of the Disruptive Innovative Space Centre (DISC) facility at Westcott, a fundamental part of building the critical core of the future UK Space Industry.

DISC artist impression

The proposal is delivering a new building providing 2,387sqm space and facilities that will be delivered by March 2022. Bucks LEP Board approved in July 2020, the £2m Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme.

Satellite Applications Catapult and site owners Patricia, are making good progress with the new building due to start in June this year. The completed scheme will expand specialist facilities at Westcott, including a Metal Additive Manufacturing facility, vacuum test chamber and clean rooms for satellite assembly and testing.

DISC proposed front elevation

DISC Phase 1 under construction

Latest news

The Satellite Applications Catapult is pleased to announce the first ever acquisition of an additive manufacturing system for the benefit of the UK Space Sector. The new MetalFAB1 has been acquired as part of an investment from the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Getting Building Fund, and will be installed at the Satellite Applications Catapult’s Disruptive Innovation for Space Centre (DISC) at Westcott Venture Park where it will be available for UK companies to use from July 2021.

To view a video showing the MetalFab1 Additive Manufacturing System in operation, click here

This project aims to deliver advanced fibre broadband to hard to reach communities in Buckinghamshire and supporting community collaboration in the development of rural fibre networks.

Working with Buckinghamshire Council, BDUK and service providers, Bucks LEP investment of £710k to support the national gigabit voucher scheme, has received an overwhelming response and exceeded expectations with plans now approved to provide direct fibre connections to over 2,000 premises in Buckinghamshire, including over 430 businesses.

Bucks LEP Board approved in July 2020, the £710k Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme with delivery by March 2022.

For further information go to the Broadband in Buckinghamshire website.

European Astrotech are proud to be recipients of Getting Building Funding, which is supporting the establishment of the Centre of Excellencefor Rocket Engine and Flow Tests Facilityat Westcott. This investment by Bucks LEP will strengthen our competitive advantage and opens up the next stage in the evolution of the Westcott site to attract new business and investment to this world-class centre of excellence in space propulsion.” Sam Green, Operations Director at European Astrotech Limited

European Astrotech have identified a requirement to develop and qualify a Centre of Excellence Rocket Testing facility, (CEREFT) – a ‘Quick Look’ Liquid Rocket Engine Test Facility that will allow quick turnaround testing of Liquid Rocket Engine assemblies up to 450 Newton thrust level in their development stage.

There is currently no such facility available in Europe that can accommodate quick turnaround testing. This facility will complement the National Rocket Engine Test Facility at Westcott. The Quick Look Facility will allow component level development testing at a cost that data indicates will be substantially less than that for the National Test Facility.

Bucks LEP Board approved in May 2021, the £740k Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme with delivery by March 2022.

Getting Building Funding of £300k will boost the Gigabit Voucher scheme in Buckinghamshire, delivering fibre to premise and 100mbps speed to over 2,000 premises, including over 430 businesses, through the national government delivery framework run by BDUK.

Bucks LEP Board approved in May 2021, the £300k Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme with delivery by March 2022.

For further information go to the Broadband in Buckinghamshire website.

Getting Building Funds will support the expansion of the UK space sector offer at Westcott, to accelerate delivery of three additional capabilities to support longer term ambitions at the Westcott Enterprise Zone:

  • Autonomy Testing Area (ATA) – £1,399,654
  • Healthy Living labs – £726,010
  • In Orbit Servicing & Manufacturing (IOSM) – £483,866
  • Total GBF – £2,609,530

These projects will together form an innovation ecosystem. They complement the existing investment by Bucks LEP and its partners in key research infrastructure for growing these important sectors of the economy as well as building towards the Space Innovation Business Park articulated in the Westcott Strategic Vision (2020).

The Satellite Applications Catapult’s remit to support the development of the UK Space sector, and its relationship and collaboration with UK Government organisations such as the UK Space Agency allows it to contribute and shape the future of the UK’s space ambition. These investment initiatives are recognised by both UKSA and Central government as being enablers of that ambition.

Bucks LEP Board approved in May 2021, the £2.6m Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme with delivery by March 2022.

“Flannery are proud to be recipients of GBF funding, which will support the establishment of the Bucks Operator Skills Hub. This will support local people to access the skills required to get sustainable employment in the Construction sector, specifically linked to the many construction projects in Bucks.” Paul Skitt, Skills Development Director, Flannery Plant.

Getting Building Funding will help create a new Specialist Skills Hub to support local training needs and provide upskilling within the construction plant industry. The focus will be on ensuring local people can access the apprenticeship programme and take advantage of the training and employment opportunities this hub will provide, including future skill areas such as GPS training, virtual reality plant simulators and remote management systems on the most advanced construction equipment.

The Skills Hub project outcomes are all driven by an ambition to create local sustainable employment opportunities in support of regional infrastructure projects such as HS2 and the East West Rail Network route.

Welcome to the Operator Skills Hub – YouTube

Bucks LEP Board approved in May 2021, the £750k Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme with delivery by March 2022.

URA Thrusters is a spin-off company from AVS UK with the only goal to commercialise the use of water for space transportation and propulsion. AVS is an international SME and EN9100 supplier of the majority of worldwide space primes -Airbus, TAS, OHB, RAFAEL, Virgin Orbit, SSTL, CubeSat primes, etc.

URA Thrusters is developing a commercial range of water propulsion systems (ICE) for Reaction and Attitude Control Systems (RACS) of a brand-new reconfigurable 3,000 kg GEO spacecraft from Airbus. This brad-new transnationally platform from Airbus has already won several commercial contracts from worldwide operators, including Inmarsat, Intelsat and Optus.

ICE thrusters are the most suitable option to replace standard hydrazine toxic RACS with “green” alternatives for large platforms, and at the same time provide 20-30% cost reduction and operational benefits to space platform and mission providers.

Bucks LEP Board approved in May 2021, the £250k Getting Building Fund grant for the Novel Test Facility at Westcott with delivery by March 2022.

The Directors of Lunaz have identified market potential in the extension of its EV proprietary powertrains and re-engineering approach to much wider industrial applications.

Global governments, including the United Kingdom, have announced bans on the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030. This is what the world requires to de-carbonise and provide a clean-air future presenting a potent commercial opportunity to build a clean-tech firm and create jobs and positive economic activity in the Buckinghamshire area.

Bucks LEP Board approved in May 2021, the £250k Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme with delivery by March 2022.

Latest News

David Beckham buys a stake in rapidly expanding Silverstone Enterprise Zone based company

The former footballer, well known for his love of a fast and flashy motor, is investing in Silverstone-based Lunaz, as the firm announces ambitious expansion plans. Lunaz launched in 2019 and is famous for its conversions of high-end classic cars, is now launching two new arms which will create 500 skilled jobs developing electric drivetrains for heavy goods vehicles and off-the-shelf EV systems for customers.

The project will expand the standard 24-fibre cable provision required for railway operations to a 432-fibre spine – the additional capacity will provide a step-change in digital connectivity that is able to:

  • Deliver backhaul services to enable local providers to deliver gigabit and superfast broadband to rural communities along the Bicester to Bletchley section of East West Rail via fixed and wireless connectivity.
  • Enable increased mast connectivity for mobile network operators to extend mobile services including 5G to the surrounding areas.
  • Support the aspiration to provide gigabit-capable connectivity to the region.

The project will deliver improved digital connectivity where commercial competition has failed to deliver infrastructure investment. It will provide 21,600 premises with gigabit-capable broadband.

The project is time-critical: the project will deliver the fibre upgrade as part of the construction of the Bicester to Bletchley section of East West Rail. Construction of this section is now underway. Delivery of the fibre upgrade in this way can be achieved at one-tenth of the cost of retrofitting the capability after the railway becomes operational.

Bucks LEP Board approved in May 2021, the £643k Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme with delivery by March 2022.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership has chosen to support D2H Advanced Technologies’ innovative and pioneering work in brake testing and research through their Getting Building Fund programme. Such grant funding will be instrumental in helping us deliver a market leading service for the mobility sector.” Chris Hebert, Engineering Director at D2H Advanced Technologies.

D2H Advanced Technologies is part of the D2H Group, an engineering service provider founded in 2015. D2H delivers the highest levels of engineering and technology in a wide range of sectors – motorsport, automotive, Olympic sports, high-spec industrial machinery and high-fidelity test equipment.

This project will result in further growth for D2H, providing additional employment for up to 10x FTE in high technology, high value areas such as mechanical design, control systems, and electronics for project delivery, and with an estimated five new hires retained for ABF management and operation after project completion.

Bucks LEP Board approved in May 2021, the £247k Getting Building Fund grant for this scheme with delivery by March 2022.