The Oxford Trust submits plans for a new science education centre & innovation centre at Stansfeld Park, Oxford

The Oxford Trust has submitted plans to Oxford City Council today for an exciting new science education centre and innovation centre in Headington, Oxford.

Stansfeld Park will be home to the UK’s first purpose-built science education centre for primary-aged children. It will also include the Wood Centre for Innovation – a new innovation centre that will provide much needed office space for local science and innovation grow-on companies. The surrounding 18-acre woodland, café and theatre that are also part of the planned site will be available for the local community to use.

The Oxford Trust held a community consultation in May 2016 on the rejuvenation of the Stansfeld site and, based on feedback, have revised their plans to accommodate concerns on the initial plans presented. There will now be a further Public Meeting on Thursday 13th October at Stansfeld, where the Trust and project architects, ADP, will talk through the latest plans and answer any further questions the community might have about the development.

Subject to planning, the new development will include:

  • A new Science and Education Centre (SEC) that will provide inspiring and informative hands-on science experiences for primary school-aged students and their families. The Trust will engage the knowledge and proven experience of the Science Oxford schools team, along with content partners, to create, develop and deliver exciting activities that combine both natural and physical sciences.
  • The Wood Centre for Innovation (WCFI) that will create space for start-up and grow-on science and technology companies, maximising the benefits of the site’s close proximity to Oxford Brookes University and the city’s health and data sciences quarter on the Old Road Campus in Headington. The Oxford Trust will capitalise on its expertise in innovation centres by ‘twinning’ the Stansfeld site with its existing central Oxford facility – The Oxford Centre for Innovation (OCFI) – to expand the much-needed capacity in the city and county.
  • A managed woodland environment that will support the education centre and provide public access into this previously private location. The Trust will work in partnership with environmental charity The Sylva Foundation to improve and manage the woodland. Sylva works across Britain caring for forests, to ensure they thrive for people and for nature, and supporting innovation in home-grown wood.

The Stansfeld Park project represents a continued commitment by The Oxford Trust to invest in both science education and innovation for the Oxfordshire region.

Steve Burgess, CEO for the Trust says: “The development of the Stansfeld site will give us the opportunity to expand the impact of our Science Oxford education and engagement programmes as well as providing badly-needed space in the city for science and technology grow-on companies. The development will also create a new space for local residents to enjoy.”

If planning is approved, the Trust will start building in late Spring 2017.

Image attached shows an aerial view of the new Stansfeld Park complex.

See aerial filmed views of the site here.

History of Stansfeld

In January 2016, the Trust acquired the lease for the Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington. The 18-acre site’s history dates back to 1919 when it was bought by John Stansfeld, then the Rector of St Ebbe’s, to provide a country retreat for the urban poor of Oxford. He also invited children from an impoverished Birmingham parish to attend summer camps there. The site was later sold to Birmingham Education Authority who continued to run it as an outdoor education centre until the summer of 2014. After years of neglect, the Oxford Trust is now in the exciting position of being able to bring the Stansfeld site back to life.

The Oxford Trust

The Oxford Trust is a charity dedicated to engaging with people of all ages about science and technology and giving new innovation businesses a great start. The rejuvenation of Stansfeld will help the Trust fulfil that mission by creating a financially and ecologically sustainable future for the centre.


ADP is a high-quality architectural practice currently ranked 27 in the AJ Top 100 with wide experience of designing in sensitive locations, across a number of key sectors including education, healthcare, commercial, cultural and residential. ADP also undertakes respectful and innovative heritage work, and works to minimise the environmental impact of its designs.

Since its formation in 1965, the practice has developed a strong reputation for innovative and award-winning architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. It combines this with an effective and well-managed service, delivered by an enthusiastic and dynamic team. In addition to Oxford, ADP has studios in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Delhi NCR, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sherborne.