Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc
Milton Park anchors the western end of The Oxford to Cambridge Arc and has an impressive occupier line up, home to 250 companies and 9,000 talents.
Accommodating university and research institution spinouts for decades, its scientific community has some of the most exciting businesses in the world working on life-enhancing and life-changing discoveries.
During MEPC’s 35 years’ stewardship, Milton Park has trebled in size and transformed from a rural industrial trading estate into a leading science and technology business community of collaborative, like-minded companies and higher education institutions. Extensive parts of Milton Park also benefit from Enterprise Zone status.
There is huge pressure for office and laboratory space in Oxfordshire. Milton Park can deliver growth and in Summer 2019 launched its 2040 Vision, a guide to managing and planning for a sustainable, resilient future.
The approach carried out with Perkins and Will was driven through data, capturing over 50 relevant datasets and engaging with over 1,000 community members, employees, stakeholders, partners and business leaders.
The 2040 Vision outlines the emergence of the estate as vibrant urban innovation district, offering a work/life balance with restaurants, sports and health facilities, post office and green spaces to relax, walk and run.
Over the next 20-25 years, Milton Park will see floorspace increase to more than four million sq ft within existing boundaries, accommodating up to 20,000 talented people.
4 STEPS TO FACILITATE CHANGE
1. LEVERAGE ON PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES AND AMENITIES
With 70% of community members valuing the Park’s green areas, new sport facilities will be introduced to provide activity beyond 9-5 working hours.
2. DIVERSIFY MOBILITY OPTIONS
A mobility HUB will reduce parking demand long term, freeing up land for future development. AVs will provide alternative transportation mode to private cars. New bike lanes and walking routes will link Milton Park with other knowledge hubs and innovation centres.
3. MAKE POLICIES AND MANAGEMENT MORE EFFECTIVE
The Milton Park Local Development Order (LDO) was introduced in 2012 to allow a range of development types, including affordable accommodations and labs to be delivered quickly. Its unique simplified planning arrangement allows planning in just 10 days, which also helps the Garden Town objectives.
4. INTRODUCE FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE BUILDINGS
The dynamic convergence of sectors in Milton Park has the potential to build on the existing commercial ecosystem, leading to innovative ways of working and thinking. 80+ business leaders from over 60 companies, including Immunocore, Vertex and Tokamak Energy, openly discussed future challenges and priorities. Half the companies have ongoing academic collaboration projects with universities and will benefit from new flexible workspaces for innovative companies to start and grow.
‘Ipsen located its UK R&D facility in Milton Park in 2016 to be integrated into the entrepreneurial and science culture. It was a pleasure to contribute to the 2040 Vision and see how the Park is embarking on a pioneering vision to transform as a place where individuals and businesses can work collaboratively. The Park has many amenities to support flexible working and our staff actively engage in activities and events. Sustainability and effective transportation are key areas of focus. Our company thoroughly appreciate being located on such a vibrant, enriching Science Park and we look forward to further transformation.’
John Chaddock, VP Head of Neuroscience TA & Site Head, Ipsen