Jeanette Walker to leave Cambridge Science Park
Jeanette Walker is to step down from her role as director of Cambridge Science Park at the end of the year.
In 2017 Jeanette became the park’s inaugural director, telling the Cambridge Independent: “We want to inject more soul into the Science Park.”
Her tenure has seen an astonishing level of development. The collaboration between site’s owner Trinity and Chinese science park development specialist TusPark began in 2018. TusPark’s investment created 350,000 sq ft of office and lab space developed for five new buildings on Cambridge Science Park (CSP), including the ground-breaking 40,000 sq ft BioInnovation Centre.
The most recent deal, announced in September, saw Bidwells acting for TusPark to secure technology giants Roku – the leading streaming giant in the US – as tenants of a 120,000 sq ft office on the park. It is the largest transaction in the city since 2016, when Arm took 188,000 sq ft at Cambridge Technology Park.
However, Jeanette says her intention was always to build a community.
Announcing her departure, she said that one of her personal highlights was a four-day trip to China to sign the TusPark deal during a trade trip which included then-PM Theresa May. But she also explained her focus was to create an exciting place to work.
“My passion though has never really been about property,” she stated. “Instead I directed my energy at transforming the Science Park into a community where people genuinely enjoy working, as well as creating an environment where innovators and entrepreneurs could meet, exchange ideas, collaborate and, importantly, have fun.”
Richard Turnill, senior bursar at Trinity College, said: “Trinity College recognises the energy and enthusiasm with which Jeanette has forged a thriving community at Cambridge Science Park, creating a fertile environment for entrepreneurs to meet, exchange ideas, collaborate and of course innovate new technologies, processes and products.
“Collaborating with the park’s greatest asset – its members – she has increased and improved services for tenants and made CSP accessible to local stakeholders.
“Among Jeanette’s many achievements is the partnership with The Grove Primary School that has enabled dozens of students to visit and engage with the park, and see for themselves options for future careers.
“The college is also grateful to Jeanette for her role in the success and evolution of TusPark’s at Cambridge Science Park, with the recent establishment of vital laboratory space at the BioInnovation Centre.
“Park members can rest assured that Jeanette will be in the post until the end of 2021 and the college is engaged in the search for a suitable replacement for this important role.”
The land for the site has belonged to Trinity College since its foundation by King Henry VIII in 1546. It was farm land until World War II. Outline planning permission for a business park was given in 1971. The first tenant, Laser-Scan, moved on to the site later than year. It is now the base for 100 companies and 5,000 people on 152 acres in 1.5m sq ft of buildings.