The European Space Agency has signed up to open a research centre at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

The Harwell Science and Innovation Campus is being developed by Goodman to include more than 1m sq ft of laboratory, high technology industrial and office space.

Goodman was selected as development partner for Harwell in a joint venture with UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

European Space Agency research centre will focus on researching space robotics and climate change.

Lord Drayson, Minister of State for Science and Innovation, said: ‘It is the Government’s priority, particularly in the current economic climate, to ensure the most out of every pound we invest in ESA.

'This is why we have selected the areas and programmes where the UK can compete and grow most effectively.'

He added: ‘The UK is the fourth highest contributor to the European Space Agency’s programmes, and I'm determined that we remain a significant player in European space.’