Work under way on next phase of Cardiff University's £300m Innovation Campus
The next phase of the campus, which is being built by Kier Group, will create 135 construction jobs
Work has started on the next phase of Cardiff University's £300m innovation campus.
The university has appointed Kier Group plc to undertake £80m of early stage work on the current brownfield site off Maindy Road for the third phase of its Cardiff Innovation Campus (CIC).
This will see SPARK, the world's first social science research park and the Innovation Centre – a creative space for start-ups, spin-outs and partnerships.
Another building will be home to two leading scientific research establishments - the Institute for Compound Semiconductors and Cardiff Catalysis Institute.
Over its two year construction period the £135m project will create 135 construction jobs.
Planning consent for the fully funded project, which is being backed by the Welsh Government, was secured last November.
Professor Hywel Thomas, pro vice-chancellor for research, innovation and engagement, said: "We are delighted to be working with Kier as preferred bidder on CIC.
"The two new buildings will unlock the economic potential of catalysis and Compound Semiconductors, and harness the application of social science to solve pressing global problems."
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates said: "I am delighted that work on the £300m Cardiff Innovation Campus is now underway and that Welsh Government is able to support this exciting project.
"Innovation is right at the heart of our economic strategy for Wales and this project goes way beyond construction jobs.
"The new research into emerging technologies that will be based in these state-of-the-art facilities will play a pivotal role in enabling the private sector to flourish and will help create a range of high quality jobs.
It is another a great example of the Welsh Government's work to support business by investing in infrastructure, skills and improving operating conditions."
Welsh Government has already part-funded two new buildings at CIC, contributing £12m to Institute for Compound Semiconductors and £6m to Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre.
Kier secured the £80m contract with a commitment to support employment, training, apprenticeships and development opportunities in the local area.
Anthony Irving, managing director, Kier Construction for Wales, said: "Our commitment includes local employment and skills development opportunities, subcontracting local SMEs where practical, and providing opportunities for young people via apprenticeships.
Cardiff University students will be offered work placement opportunities, giving them first-hand experience of the different roles available within the construction industry."