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£5.7 million investment for new Defence Innovation Centre

British army officer
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£5.7 million is being invested in building a new Defence Innovation Centre at Dorset Innovation Park by Spring 2021.

The Defence Innovation Centre will comprise of 1,100 sq. m. of offices and 450 sq. m. of workshop space, with an aim to create more than 90 new jobs and achieve £4 million of gross value added (GVA).

Dorset Leadership Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) £1.5 million investment is being matched with £3.1 million from the MOD and £1.1 million from Dorset Council.

The centre will also include the Army Battle Lab and will allow the MOD to work with academic institutions, corporations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to work on new products and technologies.

This new Defence Innovation Centre project comes as a further significant asset to Dorset and underlines the importance of supporting innovative defence-based business.

I’m excited to see how the project continues to come together. Dorset Council has a long association with the Ministry Of Defence and the armed forces in general, and we hope that this is seen as another development that will give long term confidence to businesses that might be looking to invest in our local economy.

Councillor Gary Suttle, Dorset Council

Dorset is well-known nationally for its strength in defence thanks to being home to many MOD establishments, including the Army’s Armoured Trial and Development Unit in Bovington, the Royal Corps of Signals training centre in Blandford, and the training area at Lulworth Cove which is used by all elements of the UK’s Armed Forces.

This large-scale investment is a major boost to Dorset’s defence sector. Dorset is renowned for its strengths in innovation and this new MOD workspace will enable these sectors to flourish even further. We are delighted that the MoD has chosen Dorset Innovation Park for the location of its Defence Battle Lab and we look forward to working with them on its success.

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset LEP

Dorset Innovation Park is the only economic development site in Dorset with Enterprise Zone status hopes to become the most advanced engineering cluster of excellence for the South West – incorporating marine, defence, energy and cyber-security.

The Army’s BattleLab in Dorset will build close industry relationships, whilst exploiting cutting-edge technologies to keep our Armed Forces sharp in the face of new and changing threats. This initiative will foster talent and innovation and will drive future success.

Jeremy Quin, Defence Minister
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