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Keele University’s ambitions to create a Smart Innovation Hub have moved a step closer following planning approval from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.

Although still subject to funding approval, this news marks a significant milestone for Keele University, whose Hub will bring together a university management school and incubation space for new and developing businesses.

The first of its kind in the UK, the innovation centre will comprise of three-storeys and will give a platform for businesses, academic researchers, consumers and the public sector to share ideas.

It will be located at the entrance to Keele University and be part of the Science and Innovation Park. The development is a key component of the New Keele Deal, which is a £70 million investment plan in the region that will benefit from the potential of the research and facilities at the university.

The end result will create a number of jobs over the next 20 years.

Keele University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Trevor McMillan, said: “This is a big step in our capacity to support our local economy, local businesses and local community by enabling closer interaction between the businesses and various parts of the university.”

Construction will commence later this year.

(image credit: Keele University)