AZ’s old R&D site at heart of multimillion pound science property venture

AstraZeneca’s new R&D headquarters in Cambridge may be having teething problems – but ironically the site at Alderley Park, Cheshire that it abandoned nearly five years ago is going from strength to strength.

The Anglo-Swedish pharma has still not completed the move to its new R&D site, which is behind schedule and over budget.

But its old site in Alderley Park (pictured above) in Cheshire continues to attract investment and is one of the major assets in a science commercial property joint venture announced today.

Bruntwood and Legal & General Capital (Legal & General) have established a 50:50 partnership to create the UK’s largest property venture dedicated to science and technology growth in and around regional cities.

The two partners will invest £360 million of capital, property and intellectual assets into a new company, Bruntwood SciTech, with a business plan supporting creation of over 20,000 high value jobs.

The deal is the largest made in science and technology property assets in Europe this year, and the partners plan to expand their assets from 1.3 million square feet to over 6.2 million square feet over the next 10 years.

This will increase the value of the portfolio to £1.8 billion, the partners said in a statement.

Bruntwood SciTech’s portfolio is already home to more than 500 science and technology businesses, including biotech start-ups as well as global life science companies.

It is centred around assets and development projects in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, and includes AstraZeneca’s old R&D base – now the life science campus in Alderley Park.

Liverpool also features strongly in its plans.

Alderley Park is already undergoing a £160m redevelopment, following its acquisition by Bruntwood in 2014. It is now home to 65 SMEs and 150 start-ups and is further focused on founding and growing life science sector businesses.

Alderley Park has two venture funds on site, one of which, the £42m Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Science Fund has already invested in 25 businesses across pharmaceuticals, biotech, diagnostics, CROs and medical devices.

Next year, the 150,000 sq ft glasshouse building will open at Alderley Park, offering space for digital tech businesses.

Bruntwood SciTech will also develop and be home to a new precision medicine campus within Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor Enterprise Zone.

The expanded campus will also complement the work by industry and the NHS in Greater Manchester to integrate electronic health data with genomic technology.

Bruntwood SciTech will be led by current Bruntwood’s chief commercial officer Phil Kemp as CEO, with the rest of the board including leaders from L&G, and also Dr Chris Doherty, managing director of Alderley Park.



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