By Andrew Blevins and Andrew Carrington, Liberty Property Trust and Countryside Properties, developers of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus
The government has put life sciences firmly at the forefront of its plans to drive the UK’s growth and productivity, with the publication of its industrial strategy and life sciences sector deal.
There is a desire to spread the skills, wealth and opportunity that the life sciences industry attracts and generates. As a result, the government is taking a regional approach to implementing these strategies – focusing on widening skills and knowledge pools. This presents new opportunities for the property industry as requirements for sites expands.
For established clusters, it enables them to continue to push the boundaries by attracting those organisations that will help unlock growth and nurture the technologies and companies of the future, such as Medtech.
To help cement Cambridge as the UK’s capital of life sciences, the government has made a significant commitment to upgrade Cambridge’s infrastructure. It will be investing £5m to develop proposals for a third train station for the city, on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, helping to realise its industrial strategy. The campus isn’t a traditional science park – it has a successful mix of academics, businesses and clinicians (the ABCs).
For those regions seeking to create their own life sciences ecosystem, there’s much that can be learned from the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, which has supported a life sciences community since the early 1960s. Ensuring the place and the location are attractive to potential investors and occupiers is vital. The campus isn’t a traditional science park – it has a successful mix of academics, businesses and clinicians that want to be near each other to enable them to easily communicate and collaborate.
It is this environment that attracted AstraZeneca to move its global research and development centre to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
The continued demand for space on the campus has meant we have expanded the site by 90 acres to house commercial life sciences businesses like Abcam and provide clinical expansion space. This unique combination of occupiers means that while Brexit does undoubtedly create a lot of uncertainty, the UK life sciences sector is such a strong bet for the future of our economy that it will continue to attract the brightest people, ideas and investment – leading this global industry.