Plans go on show for science centre in Downham Market

Advanced Knowledge Engineering Presentation. Pictured (from left) John Beer, Michael Carrick, Annabe

Advanced Knowledge Engineering Presentation. Pictured (from left) John Beer, Michael Carrick, Annabelle Lloyd-Carrick and Peter Twist. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Plans for a multi-million pound facility specialising in one of the fastest growing areas of science are being showcased in Downham Market for the first time.

The Centre for Advanced Knowledge Engineering has been earmarked for the former RAF Downham Market site at Bexwell and will be the first of its kind in Europe.

Proposals for the development are on display to the public today.

When built, the 90 acre site will focus on the big data sector and will include education facilities, research premises and commercial space for companies.

Peter Twist, from Aventa Capital Partners, said £350m in total is expected to be invested into the project and 4,600 permanent new jobs created.

He said: 'We want to find out what people in Downham Market really think about this - the positives and the negatives.

'Many of the sceptics wonder why we want this in a rural community but we are trying to raise aspirations of young people here with this development.'

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He added that a date when plans will be submitted is to be confirmed.

Meanwhile John Beer, who is championing the project locally, explained there has been interest in this kind of facility with the cancer research community in particular highlighting the need.

Subject to planning approval, construction will begin towards the end of this year with the first buildings scheduled for completion within a year.

- The plans will be on display at the town hall between 10am and 3pm.

- What did you think to the proposals? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk

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