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Land made available at Granta Park to expand key life sciences sector


Land made available at Granta Park to expand key life sciences sector

A significant plot of land at Granta Park, south of Cambridge, will be made available to help grow the region’s thriving life sciences sector, forming part of plans to create thousands of skilled local jobs.

Research and technology company TWI, which spearheaded the creation of Granta Park, decided to release 27 acres of land, with planning consent, to BioMed Realty, a company which specialises in real estate for life science and technology industry.

BioMed Realty is looking to double its amount of life sciences real estate in the region, creating up to 2,700 highly skilled jobs, with land at Granta Park a major contributor to that aim.

The science, technology and biopharmaceutical park is based on the bank of the River Granta in Great Abington. It houses businesses such as Illumina and Astra Zeneca as well as TWI’s operations.

The release of the land will mean more capacity in the region for life sciences companies to invest and grow.

The Combined Authority, which supports business sectors across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, advised TWI about the potential of the site to support the growth of the life sciences sector. Life sciences in the region competes on the global stage, and is one of the sectors the Combined Authority is trying to sustain and expand.

Following the release of the land TWI will reinvest the £100 million in its own operations including its staff, laboratories and technology.

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson said: 

“I’ve worked as an NHS children’s doctor in Cambridgeshire for many years and I’ve always followed closely the pioneering life sciences sector right on our doorstep. Ours in an innovation economy, and the recent work of AstraZeneca on the Covid vaccine underlines why this sector is of national importance.

“Our life sciences cluster is among the world’s best, but we can’t take it for granted. We have rivals both nationally and internationally. Both Oxford and London are growing faster, and internationally, we want Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to remain a destination of choice for investment in this sector.

“TWI is itself one of the region’s most innovative companies and we have a good working relationship with them. We advised them on the potential of their site to support the further growth of the life sciences cluster and it is great that they have made the decision to open up this opportunity at Granta Park.

“Growth in this sector will create around 2,700 highly skilled, technical jobs locally and help keep life our sciences cluster at the cutting edge, driving our economy for decades to come.”

TWI Chief Executive Aamir Khalid said:  

“TWI will invest up to £100m into our staff, laboratories and technology for the benefit of our Industrial and Professional Members. We have been a technology company for 75 years and technology is at the heart of TWI.”

The Chair of TWI’s Council, Humbert Mozzi said:

“It is a great privilege for me to chair this wonderful team at TWI. Through the team’s hard work, we have achieved remarkable results within the technology sector. We have, today, sold a piece of land within our portfolio, which is not core to our business. However, through this sale, we are able to rewrite the future that lies ahead of us at TWI and allow us to invest the proceeds of a non-core asset into core business strategies, both nationally and internationally. I now challenge the team at TWI to lift the bar once again and achieve new heights in our core business.”

TWI has issued a press release on the investment.