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BioMed Realty invests £850m in two Cambridge lab sites



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The region’s life sciences sector is set to gain up to 2,700 new jobs following BioMed Realty’s acquisition of two Cambridge sites.

Two new buildings are being construction on the Babraham Research Park by Biomed Realty. Picture: Richard Marsham
Two new buildings are being construction on the Babraham Research Park by Biomed Realty. Picture: Richard Marsham

Cambridge International Technology Park (CITP), a 15-acre site on Fulbourn Road, from Abstract Securities, and a 27-acre land plot at Granta Park from The Welding Institute (TWI), will deliver 800,000sq ft of additional high-quality purpose-built lab space subject to planning consent.

Blackstone portfolio company BioMed Realty’s estimated £850m investment meets the growing demand – and shortage of supply – for space among technology, science and knowledge-based companies developing vaccines, new treatments as well as responding to global health challenges.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This investment is hugely welcome news for Cambridge and the UK as a whole. The city was home to some of the country’s greatest scientific discoveries and I’m confident that the support of Blackstone’s BioMed Realty will mean there are many more to come. The jobs created by this investment are exactly the kind we want to see more of in the UK – high-skilled and future-facing, reflecting what the UK does best.”

The UK’s life sciences sector is a crucial part of the British economy, supporting 250,000 jobs and contributing more than £80bn to GDP each year. As the largest life sciences market in the UK, Cambridge − the birthplace of stem cell research and artificial intelligence − is seen as an epicentre of research and innovation and is home to more labs than any other UK location.

A CGI of the proposed Cambridge International Technology Park, planned for land off Fulbourn Road. Image: Abstract
A CGI of the proposed Cambridge International Technology Park, planned for land off Fulbourn Road. Image: Abstract

Latest survey data shows all of Cambridge’s available lab space is currently under offer, potentially locking out promising start-ups from the market and slowing the growth of life sciences companies in the UK.

Bill Kane, president, East Coast & UK market at BioMed Realty, said: “State-of-the-art life science facilities are a critical component to the speed at which scientific research is accelerating. BioMed is proud to meet the needs of this truly dynamic industry, helping companies to incubate, scale up and grow. These new developments at CITP and Granta Park will provide much-needed life science space for existing and new companies, further advancing Cambridge as a global home for research while supporting the local economy.”

BioMed entered the Cambridge market in 2012 and has expanded to become its largest private owner of life sciences space, supporting 22 life science companies at all stages. BioMed’s Babraham Research Campus and Granta Park currently provide a total of 870,000sq ft including incubator, scale-up, and headquarter space to Illumina, Gilead, AstraZeneca and Pfizer among other enterprises.

James Seppala, head of real estate in Europe at Blackstone, said: “Life sciences remains one of Blackstone’s highest conviction investment themes. Together with BioMed Realty, we are committed to growing this area of investment for the long-term and providing the high-quality space that is needed to bring life-saving products and therapies to market and ensure the UK’s future success as a global leader in vaccine and drug development.”



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