- New spaces designed to meet growing need for collaboration and cluster approach to research
- Modern labs and breakout areas will bolster direction of travel for life science industry
- Investment a boost for drug discovery firms, including those combating infectious diseases
Bruntwood SciTech, the UK's leading property provider dedicated to the growth of the science and technology sector, has launched 86,000 sq ft of redeveloped laboratories at Alderley Park, undertaken as part of its £247m masterplan.
This £20m lab investment has seen the redevelopment of existing lab spaces to create high-specification biology and chemistry containment level two (CL2) laboratory suites. Key design features include write-up, breakout and presentation spaces specifically designed to further inspire collaboration between companies and colleagues, enabling the natural collision of ideas.
Driving the Alderley Park master development plans is Bruntwood SciTech, a joint venture between investor and developer Bruntwood and Legal & General, the UK's leading developer of innovation districts. Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership has provided £4m to the redevelopment scheme, further cementing Alderley Park as one of the UK's leading science and technology campuses. The announcement today forms part of the Park's longer-term masterplan, with plans currently being proposed for an additional 200,000 sq ft of lab space and office space for technology businesses.
Businesses taking advantage of the new facilities are expected to come from specialist areas such as: drug discovery and development, oncology, infectious diseases, advanced therapy medicinal products and diagnostics. The Park's offering is bolstered by access to specialist scientific services as well as Bruntwood SciTech's wider network of innovators and business support programmes, including the Alderley Park Accelerator which supports start-up and scale-up companies to establish and grow through mentoring, funding support and advice when entering new markets.
Alderley Park is already home to over 250 companies. Its business community includes the likes of Cancer Research UK's Manchester Institute team and Sai Life Sciences, as well as SMEs like BivictriX and ApconiX, providers of specialist services for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics sectors.
Kath Mackay, Director of Life Sciences, Bruntwood SciTech, said: "The life sciences sector is witnessing rapid and continued growth in the North West and the creation of these pioneering workspaces speaks to that demand. Our newly redeveloped laboratories are a step change from traditional lab environments as the industry sees a shift towards an ecosystem of workspace that offers opportunities for young, innovative companies to collaborate alongside sectoral leaders. Alderley Park's latest injection of high quality biology and chemistry labs will further facilitate this.
"Alderley Park is already a world-leading campus for science and technology and a key location for the North's thriving life sciences sector. Investing in its future will keep this facility - and its businesses - at the forefront of regional, national and international innovation."
Philip Cox, Chief Executive of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership said: "We are continuing to grow and enhance Cheshire and Warrington's reputation in the life sciences sector and Alderley Park is a key part of our ambitions.
"We recently launched the GMC Life Sciences Fund by Praetura, allowing us to invest in innovative companies in the region. Alongside key developments within Alderley Park's Mereside life science campus this means that life sciences will continue to flourish in Cheshire and Warrington and the wider region."
Fairhursts Design Group acted as lead architect on the project and oversaw the bespoke refurbishment of the scheme. Alderley Park's new biology and chemistry laboratory suites range from 2.5k sq.ft to 11.2k sq.ft. Phase one of the project (36K sq ft) has now completed, with phase two (50k sq ft) due to complete in August 2022.