Changing workplace requirements has reignited interest in business and science parks. As the property manager of 25 science and business parks across the UK, MAPP is well-placed to provide a compelling argument for why they will thrive.
A major advantage for business parks over city-centre locations is space and the opportunity to build communities. Healthy buildings and quality outdoor space are now at the top of many workers’ priority lists and key to enticing people back to the office.
As with offices in general, we are seeing a flight to quality, and design and property management are key. Workplace experience is as important as functionality. We are seeing this at Winnersh Triangle, home to Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Hollister; and at Farnborough Business Park, with Time Inc and Gama Aviation on site. Presently sitting in my inbox are plans for multiple outdoor meeting rooms/spaces and things such as paddle tennis courts.
For science parks the rationale is quite different, as lab work cannot be performed at home.
Investment in life sciences-related real estate has skyrocketed. The recent successes of UK firms in this space have resulted in stellar levels of fundraising into the sector, boosting property requirements.
Property management has a hugely important role, overseeing the need for special equipment, lab technicians, power requirements and removal of hazardous waste. Our client We Are Pioneer Group (WAPG) owns 10 science parks across Europe, supporting 650 high-growth businesses – the UK’s largest network of science and tech-focused companies. Adding the complexity of businesses typically scaling up and down quickly draws parallels with managing flexible office space.
Business and science parks will continue to respond to these fast-moving trends and supporting changing occupier requirements. I have no doubt they will enjoy an enduring appeal.
Tom Peasgood is head of business and science parks at MAPP