New London Architecture

Stevenage Life Sciences Cluster

Built

The Stevenage Life Sciences research and R&D cluster is centred around the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, which was developed by GSK, the Wellcome Foundation and UK Government
Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc

Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc

The Stevenage Life Sciences research and R&D cluster is centred around the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, which was developed by GSK, the Wellcome Foundation and UK Government and which is located directly adjacent to GSK R&D activity.

The cluster comprises the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) Incubator and Accelerator buildings and the Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Catapult (CGTMC) and the Spark Building. Sycamore House, which is a new addition to the campus, is currently being brought forward to help companies expand in the location and is due to open in Q2 2021. Together, these facilities will provide around 23,200 sq m (250,000 sq ft) of floor space.

The campus provides a home for over 40 companies focusing on a multitude of therapeutic areas, and has gone from strength to strength as an open innovation ecosystem for healthcare R&D, since the project’s inception in 2012. Companies located here have collectively raised in excess of £1bn since that date, with over £300m of this having been raised in 2019 alone. The campus has a particular focus on research and R&D into Cell and Gene therapy, with a number of the worlds leading companies in this field located within SBC. Companies located here report that proximity to the CGTMC and each other helps drive forward the speed at which they can bring their products and services to market. Many are patenting new manufacturing technologies in the novel field of cell and gene therapy, and both the support on offer at SBC and the CGTMC have lead to the campus achieving an internationally recognised status for the development of this pioneering activity.

In 2020, the campus was awarded Life Sciences Opportunity Zone Status by the Office for Life Sciences. In December 2019, the Spark building opened on the campus to meet the needs of rapidly growing companies in the short — medium term. Sycamore House is simultaneously being brought forward through a collaboration between Kadans Science Partner — a specialist R&D sector property developer — and SBC. The development is to repurpose an existing warehouse previously owned by GSK, situated directly adjacent to existing activity to provide c.9,300 sq m (100,000 sq ft) of high quality multi-occupied office and laboratory accommodation. 

The level of demand for space has been high, with all suites in the building already spoken for 15 months prior to anticipated completion. Building design has been focussed on retaining the existing industrial features of the building, whilst simultaneously providing a highly collaborative environment and tying services seamlessly in with other buildings on the campus. The innovative approach of comprehensive refurbishment to deliver space rapidly for the sector and involvement of a private sector investor are testament to the strength of the location as a Knowledge Network.

‘The open innovation ecosystem that has been nurtured in Stevenage by the parties here is making a real difference to the pace that companies can develop their products and services. The demand for space is unprecedented. Growth rates and funding successes of companies working in collaboration is testament to the atmosphere that we endeavour to maintain on the campus. We are incredibly excited to be working with Kadans Science partner; the comprehensive refurbishment of Sycamore House will be a flagship example of the kind of innovative approach that needs to be taken to provide space for the expanding sector.’
Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, CEO, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Project information

Status

Built

Borough

* N/A Outside of London

Size

23200 sq m

Completion

2020


Location

112 Bessemer Dr, Stevenage SG1 2DX, UK


Team Credits

Client

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Architect

Fairhursts Design Group

Developer

Kadans Science Partner


Last updated on

06/06/2020


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