The government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper, published at the end of November 2017, set out a vision to build a Britain fit for the future, with the life sciences sector seen as essential to powering the economy in the post Brexit world.
Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent has already embarked on a multi-million pound investment programme that heralds an exciting new chapter for this iconic science park, creating the perfect environment for innovation and scientific collaboration; an outward looking, globally focused showcase for UK plc. That investment will step up a gear in 2018, including:
Kent Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant
The opening of a new £160m CHP plant will make Discovery Park self sufficient for all its power and energy needs. The biomass facility, set to open before the end of 2018, will aid the site’s quest to be sustainable in all it does; setting the template for clean growth in the UK.
The next phase of investment work to boost R&D
The launch of new Pay-As-You-Go labs, offering a new and flexible solution for scientific research is just one element of a multi-million investment in science that significantly enhances what Discovery Park has to offer. Education is a key part of that with new auditorium space set to launch in 2018 for education events, talks and seminars – all helping to share the site’s expertise.
A ‘Pharma’s’ Market full of local produce
Discovery Park is in the process of revamping its catering offer on site, with the main science block Discovery Park House, the next focus for a £850K refit. Steps are also being taken to boost the amount of locally produced food used in the park’s cafes and restaurants.
Toby Hunter, Chief Executive, Discovery Park, said: “This iconic site is already a key driver to Kent’s economy, with a track record for science excellence stretching back 50 years and with a lot more to come in 2018.
“We’re lucky at Discovery Park to already have industry leading laboratories in place for world class R&D, supported by a network of essential support services, businesses and education providers. The investment we’re delivering now will enhance this further, creating new areas of science activity and expertise.
“We’re building a one-stop eco-system for long term success focused on science and enterprise encouraging links between academia and industry; building skills and creating opportunities that will attract the high skilled and high paid jobs that will ensure Kent’s future growth.
“As one of the UK’s leading Enterprise Zones, we’ve been able to provide a launchpad for science companies , with additional support from our investment partners. Our aim, as the site develops is to ensure there is every opportunity for businesses to grow on site.
“Work to add 50,000 sq ft of new laboratory space and a 60,000 sq ft expansion of office space is underway, but this is just the start with plans in place for further investment that will allow science to thrive – from start up and discovery to full scale production.”