Shell has gifted its largest science research centre in the UK to the University of Chester.
The company had previously announced plans to close Shell Thornton, in Cheshire, and consolidate research and development facilities elsewhere.
Today it was confirmed that the University of Chester will take over the 66-acre site, which includes 48 science and engineering buildings.
The university said the plan means Thornton, which opened 75 years ago, will remain at the "forefront of scientific research".
It now intends to use the site to raise student numbers by around 500 and provide support services to more than 20 small and medium sized businesses.
Other proposals, including a science park with communal laboratory space, will mean Thornton has the potential to create thousands of jobs, the university said.
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