Science parks

The pandemic has undoubtedly raised the profile of science parks with their connection to life sciences. This was already a key area for growth and investment, which has accelerated with the unprecedented demand for lab/research space and as a result, investor appetite.

Pre-pandemic, government investment in research was increasing and in the private sector we had begun to see collaborations such as Bruntwood and L&G (forming Sci-Tech Bruntwood). Focusing on investment in science parks and their recent collaboration with the University of Birmingham on the £210m Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, the collaboration highlights a commitment to the asset class and the kind of growth we expect to see more and more in the future.

The University of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine demonstrates the enormous success of a university/pharma partnership and we expect the relationship between health, education and property to spearhead the growth in this sector.

Whilst life sciences is a significant and important part of science parks, there are also other relevant occupiers. Norwich Research Park provides a good example of a park which is home to a wide range of organisations including industrial and agricultural biotech. As technologies continue to develop, the range of sectors represented within science parks will expand.

Demand for space in the sector is already showing signs of outstripping supply which will drive the growth of new science parks, research and development clusters, and innovation centres.

Science parks offer knowledge intensive occupiers a collaborative space combined with business support.  Due to a lack of existing space, we are likely to see the re-purposing of office and retail to lab and research space. Flexible space is likely to be utilised, which we are already seeing in White City and the Kings Cross/Euston Road cluster in London, along the CaMkOx Arc, and hubs like Circle Square in Manchester.

Find out more about our Life sciences, Technology, Real estate investmentHealth and care and Education sectors.

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