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London - Cambridge life sciences corridor can create 14,000 jobs

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

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More than 14,000 new jobs could be generated in the life sciences sector along the London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor alone before 2023, according to new research by London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC).

London - Cambridge life sciences corridorAuthored by leading commercial property consultancy Bilfinger GVA, partnered with Ekosgen, and commissioned by LSCC, the prospectus identifies the huge growth projected in this sector, and sets out the key locations within the region set to accommodate that growth.

The report predicts total life sciences employment could rise to 54,600 jobs by 2023 in the corridor between London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridge taking into account the significant projected inward investment into the area, believed to be the highest growth rate in Europe.

The report supports the UK Government’s prediction that to 2018, the corridor will see a net increase of 7,700 life science employees, giving an average annual growth rate of 3.5%, the greatest being in the biotech sub-sector, at 9%.

Stated Professor Greg Clark, Chair, LSCC, comments: “These new findings on projected growth show that even by the most conservative of estimates the region will see employment growth in this sector remain extremely strong. The pressure on space is extreme, but this report highlights the key locations that can accommodate growth.”

Dr Stephen King, Deputy Director at LSCC, comments: “The growth trajectory of the corridor is set to lead the UK’s dominance of the life sciences sector in Europe. 1,400 existing life sciences businesses are already located in the LSCC corridor alone, accounting for 20% of the entire England sector, and with its intellectual capital believed to be on par with the world’s largest and leading clusters, it’s little wonder this locale is set to generate a huge demand for new space in the coming decade, with a range of real estate investment opportunities.”

Entitled ‘The London Stansted Cambridge Corridor – A prospectus for Life Sciences Growth’, the report identifies a series of new developments to justify the growth of this major life sciences cluster that already generates up to £3.1 billion GVA.

Andrew Brambridge, Director of Harlow Enterprise Zone, comments: “Life Science is perhaps the most dynamic sector in the London-Stansted-Cambridge economy, based on existing sectorial strength, unrivalled academic expertise and excellent transport links combined with space for growth. This report is a major contribution to understanding this sector in the sub-region and it identifies the huge opportunity to build on success and expand the sector still further. Harlow Enterprise Zone looks forward to being at the forefront of this growth with a new 25 acre site with planning consent coming to the market.”

In terms of sector strength and growth the London Stansted Cambridge corridor offers:-

  • Over 40,000 jobs in the corridor – remained resilient and growing during a downturn in the sector globally
  • Diverse offer, particularly strengthening in new field of bio-technology
  • Potential for 14,000 new jobs to be delivered to 2023 – inc. major relocations of AstraZeneca (2000 additional jobs in Cambridge) and Public Health England (1200 additional jobs in Harlow)
  • 20% of UK life science businesses within the Corridor
  • Strong supply of high level skills – however some challenges to supply of ‘mid-tier’ technician skills

Harlow Enterprise Zone at the centre of the corridor is rightly identified as a key location for growth; alongside Kings Cross Cluster, UCL and Crick, Cambridge Science Park and Granta Park to name but a few.

The £700 million Francis Crick Institute at Kings Cross; significant investment from Astra Zeneca in a new HQ and global R&D centre at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus; and the Cell Therapy Catapult’s planned £55m state-of-the-art Cell Therapy manufacturing centre at Stevenage provide further evidence for growth.

Chris Hall, Senior Director at Bilfinger GVA, comments: “This region is globally significant for life sciences, with huge potential for growth. The concentration of life sciences such as the Francis Crick Institute at Kings Cross will super-charge interest from life science-facing occupiers in this corridor.”

“The region can offer everything from bespoke incubator space for R&D start-ups to major sites for significant HQ’s through to high tech manufacturing.”

The report identifies a diverse supply of land and premises for life sciences to grow within existing science parks with facilities and new land development opportunities. The diversity of the supply provides a range of price points and scales that can accommodate research, manufacturing, and distribution and administrative functions linked to the life sciences.

LSCC and Bilfinger GVA will launch the report at MIPIM on 11 March at 1530 on the Bilfinger Real Estate stand R7.G24. Speakers will include Dr. Stephen King of LSCC; Neale Coleman, CBE, Deputy Chair, London Legacy Development Corporation; Jeff Stack, Chief Executive, Broxbourne District Council and; Andrew Brambridge of Harlow Enterprise Zone.

For further information or for a copy of the report itself please contact Chris Hall, Senior Director in Planning, Development and Regeneration, on christopher.hall@gva.co.uk or 020 7911 2278.

To view the prospectus and site reports, please click here.

To find out more about Bilfinger GVA's events at MIPIM 2015, please click here.