QMU unveils plans for £80m innovation hub

QMU innovation hub Queen Margaret DriveQueen Margaret University (QMU) has submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) to East Lothian Council for an £80 million commercial and innovation hub on the land surrounding its Musselburgh campus.

The university is preparing a masterplan for an investment ready business hub which it said will support 13,000 jobs.

Knowledge economy advisors CAM-SCI were recently appointed to guide the university’s land development strategy.

QMU Principal Professor Petra Wend said: “I can confirm that we are formulating plans for the development of a commercial and innovation hub adjacent to the campus. We are of the strong belief that our proposals will deliver long term benefits to the region and I very much hope that the local community will help us shape those plans over the coming months through our consultation process.”

Phase One of the park is for the development of a 5,000sqm innovation centre followed by a range of facilities including retail, coffee shops, health and fitness, hotel and residential accommodation.

Petra Wend added: “We have drawn on international best practice in developing our plans. A £1 billion city region deal bid has been submitted by Edinburgh and the south east area of Scotland which concentrates on the region’s strengths of knowledge culture and technology.

“Although still in its early stage, we are confident that if the deal progresses our proposals would be relevant for inclusion.

“QMU has a key role as a catalyst to attract high growth SMEs to East Lothian and to work with them to achieve Scotland’s economic aspirations in partnership with industry bodies, other learning institutions and Government Agencies. To achieve this potential, the land adjacent to our campus must be retained for the development of specialist facilities needed to support business growth.”

QMU is already committed to a partnership with East Lothian Council and has created an on-campus Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) which includes the Council’s Business Gateway, the first time a Business Gateway has been based in a Scottish university.

Members of the local community will have the opportunity to drop in and view the university’s proposals and to ask questions of QMU representatives at consultation events to be held on 9th September at the Brunton Hall in Musselburgh and on 10th September at QMU. Both drop-in events will run between 2pm and 8pm.

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