ESA develops new events venue at Harwell Campus

A new conference facility that will showcase the global impact of European space activities is being built in Science Vale UK.

The centre – due to be completed in winter 2022– will form part of ESA’s European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT), which is based at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Science Vale UK.

Backed by the UK Space Agency, the facility is being built by UK firm Amiri Construction.

It will serve as a focal point to promote space-based collaboration and innovation, hosting events that highlight to a global audience the role of space activities in the UK, Europe and across the world.

The centre is set to add to ESA’s existing contributions to Harwell’s thriving community of commercial, public and academic enterprises.

Driven by the booming UK space industry, the campus is undergoing rapid expansion. The conference facility will support this growth by reinforcing ties across Harwell’s health, quantum, energy and space clusters.

The centre will provide cutting-edge, adaptable meeting facilities, including a conference hall for 300 people that can sub-divided into smaller rooms and two meeting rooms for 25 people, as well as breakout areas, exhibition space, dedicated rooms for interpreters, and catering facilities.

Elodie Viau, Head of ECSAT, said: “We are proud to be working with the UK Space Agency to develop ESA’s state-of-the conference facility at ECSAT. By hosting international events and conferences, the centre will champion the role of space-based collaboration and innovation within the UK, as well as across Europe and globally. We look forward to welcoming our partners to the new conference centre.”

Martin Tidby, Managing Director of Amiri Construction says “We are very pleased to be working alongside ESA on their latest project. Having undertaken similar projects before, we look forward to using that knowledge and delivering an exceptional Amiri project experience.”

Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “The Harwell Space Cluster is renowned worldwide as a centre of excellence that showcases space capabilities from across the UK. This fantastic new conference centre anchors ESA in the UK and demonstrates the benefits of our ongoing ESA membership.

“This is an exciting time for the whole of the space sector and this new facility, capable of hosting global events, will support further growth and collaboration, not just in Oxfordshire but across the whole country.”