Bath appoints contractor for new automotive research facility

The University of Bath has awarded Rydon the contract for the construction of its new automotive propulsion research facility as part of IAAPS.

CGI image of the new IAAPS research and innovation facility at the Bristol and Bath Science Park
The IAAPS Research Facility is currently under construction at the Bristol and Bath Science Park

The University of Bath has awarded Rydon the contract for the construction of its new automotive propulsion research facility as part of the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS).

The construction of the world-leading £70 million research facility has already begun and marks the latest stage in the development of IAAPS. It is scheduled to open in 2021 at the Bristol and Bath Science Park at Emerson’s Green, Bristol.

Following the recent announcement that AVL has been chosen as the equipment supplier for the facility, the University will work closely with both AVL and Rydon to ensure the building and the equipment to be installed are fully aligned with future research to be carried out there.

Following the construction of the building envelope, installation of the new equipment will begin in early 2020, with a number of research facilities operational from early 2021.

IAAPS will be a global centre of excellence, delivering transformational research and innovation and supporting the automotive industries in meeting future air quality standards and the new facility is a key component in delivering this vision. It will support the automotive industry in the development of future generations of ultra-low emission vehicles and attract sector-related businesses to the region, generating economic growth.

Rydon is a growing and well-established contractor in the region and has delivered a number of high-profile schemes in the commercial and educational sectors.

Prof Gary Hawley, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Engineering & Design and Executive Director of IAAPS, commented: “We are pleased to have appointed Rydon as the contractors for the new facility. This is an important component in realising the overall vision of IAAPS.

“The Institute will place Bath at the forefront of future vehicle development in Europe, both from a technical perspective, and in terms of developing the talent that the industry will need in the future.”

Paul Barber, South West Regional Director for Rydon, added: “We are delighted to be delivering this much-anticipated research and innovation facility for the University of Bath.

“This building will house some of the world’s best engineers in a state of the art facility that will positively impact the region and the UK automotive industry. We are proud to bring Rydon’s sector expertise with a passion for considerate construction and look forward to delivering this scheme to an exceptional quality.”

In addition to £30 million in investment by the University of Bath, £10 million has been allocated to IAAPS by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “I’m proud that the West of England is set to lead the world in the development of ultra-low emission vehicles. Supporting innovation like this is key to our ambition for clean economic growth, and will help us to attract even more innovative businesses into our region.”

Professor Steve West, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Supporting businesses to innovate to drive new clean technology is key to our Local Industrial Strategy. IAAPS will also support the development of a much larger and more competitive automotive business cluster in the region, providing access to its state-of-the art facilities to start-ups and small to medium-sized companies.”

The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund has also committed £28.9 million to enable construction of the IAAPS facility.