AstraZeneca’s move to Cambridge ‘already making a difference’

PUBLISHED: 09:22 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 December 2016

Andy Williams, AstraZeneca'’s VP for Cambridge strategy and operation

Andy Williams, AstraZeneca'’s VP for Cambridge strategy and operation

Adam Smyth

AstraZeneca’s move to the city is already having a tangible benefit – and that’s before its staff have even moved in to the new buildings being built on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

The company chose to relocate its £330million research and development facilities and global HQ in the city to cement its relationship with leading research, academic and healthcare organisations based in and around Cambridge.

Most of the 2,000 staff that will call the campus home are now in the Cambridge region, with all due by the end of the year.

There were already 500 at the MedImmune site on Granta Park, while the firm also has sites in Melbourn, Great Chesterford and on Cambridge Science Park.

Andy Williams, VP, Cambridge strategy and operations at AstraZeneca, told the Cambridge Independent: “We have a lot of buildings now. The advantage is we get to be in Cambridge way earlier.

“Some came down from Manchester, some came up from London and a reasonably large number are new recruits and it’s gone brilliantly actually.

“The scientific benefit of getting people here earlier has happened and it’s working, which takes the pressure off getting into the biomedical campus.

“We’ve doubled the number of collaborations with the university in one year. It’s gone very well. People have come into a new organisation. The CEO said in the future we’ll be science-led. The people that have come to Cambridge, wherever they’ve come from, have come with that attitude and they’ve come into an area that has that attitude, so there’s a lot of collaboration, innovation – people are excited to be here. There are almost no negatives.”

Richard Foster, project management lead for AstraZeneca, said construction work at the site was on track.

“It’s going really well and the progress is phenomenal,” he said. “The staff are really getting a sense of where they are going to be working. We are starting to put in second floors and fit-out work in the basement.”

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