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Babraham Research Campus’ £26m fund with BioMed Realty to boost labs

A new joint venture between BioMed Realty and Babraham Research Campus is set to deliver a 40,000 sq ft purpose-built building which includes new fitted laboratory space for the Campus.

PetMedix at BioMed@Babraham. Picture: Simon Punter
PetMedix at BioMed@Babraham. Picture: Simon Punter

The venture’s expansion of the Campus and its ecosystem has been made possible with a £26million fund to develop the site. Around 260 local construction jobs will be created.

The new building will accommodate “several” life science companies and will be constructed to ensure a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ score, along with “a notable net gain in biodiversity”.

BioMed Realty, a San Diego-based Blackstone portfolio company, is a leading provider of real estate solutions for the life science and technology industries. Its involvement with Cambridge began in 2012. BioMed now owns and operates approximately one million square feet of laboratory and office space across the city, supporting more than 30 life sciences companies from start-ups to established firms.

Bioscience Technologies deepened its investment into a partnership with the 2017 launch of BioMed@Babraham at the Campus.

Tim Schoen, CEO, BioMed Realty
Tim Schoen, CEO, BioMed Realty

In 2021 it paid Abstract Securities £850m for Cambridge International Technology Park (CITP), a 15-acre site on Fulbourn Road, and a 27-acre land plot at Granta Park from The Welding Institute (TWI). The two sites together offer 800,000 sq ft of high-quality purpose-built lab space.

The new Babraham building will see BioMed’s footprint at the Campus in Cambridge grow to more than 130,000 sq ft across three buildings.

The venture will be eagerly welcomed in the life sciences sector which, in Cambridge, now exhibits a chronic shortage.

According to market data tracked by BioMed, heightened tenant demand in the UK has driven space availability to essentially zero for functional lab and office space, potentially locking out promising start-ups emerging from the early stages of incubation with an ambition to scale.

CGI of BioMed Realty’s new building at the Babraham Research Campus. Picture: NORR Architects
CGI of BioMed Realty’s new building at the Babraham Research Campus. Picture: NORR Architects

“The Babraham Research Campus is a truly unique offering and it plays a key role in the life science ecosystem of Cambridge,” said Tim Schoen, BioMed Realty CEO. “The new joint development will build on our existing presence on the Campus and strengthen our relationship with the team at BRC, led by Derek Jones.

“Together, we are working to expand the ethos of the Campus by providing critically under-supplied research and development space for scale-ups, with the ultimate goal of helping to grow the Cambridge market, the life science industry and employment in the UK.”

The development will also be the most sustainable building on Campus to date, incorporating a number of technologies to reduce energy consumption and improve water usage, resulting in significant carbon emission reductions.

Derek Jones, Babraham Research Campus chief executive
Derek Jones, Babraham Research Campus chief executive

Derek Jones, CEO, Babraham Research Campus, said: “In 2017, BioMed partnered with us and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, to develop the next generation of scale-up space at Babraham. Within the UK market today, there continues to be an immediate demand for life science and R&D space on Campus and within the wider Cambridge Cluster.

“This new joint development with BioMed will further enhance the capability of companies to scale at Babraham within our highly connected, sustainable and dynamic ecosystem.

“It will also support a seamless transition to other larger campuses such as Granta Park, owned and managed by BioMed Realty, once companies have outgrown their space at the Babraham Research Campus, providing companies with the ability to remain and grow in Cambridge.”

Construction will begin imminently, with completion due Q4 2023.

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