The University of Reading-owned Thames Valley Science Park opens its doors for business this week as tenants move into the flagship ‘Gateway' building.
The building is part of a £35 million investment in the Science Park and is the first to open. It provides 70,000 square foot of flexible office and laboratory space for around 20 technology-led companies ranging from early stage start-ups to global research and development centres. These include companies such as BioInteractions Limited, Covance, Sage People and Clasado BioSciences.
Tenants will have access to a high-speed digital infrastructure that will meet the vast data needs of their businesses. Other amenities at the site located in Shinfield (just off junction 11 of the M4) include a café, conference facilities and flexible meeting spaces.
A dedicated hub for entrepreneurs and growing businesses will also be based in the ‘Gateway' building. Innovation Catalyst is a collaboration between VitalSix, a specialist in supporting growing businesses, Thames Valley Science Park and Barclays Eagle Labs.
The Thames Valley Science Park will be the amongst the biggest dedicated science parks in the region and one of the largest in the South East. The full Science Park will take up to 20 years to be fully developed, with significant long-term investment from the University of Reading.
The second building, an innovative cancer treatment centre being built by Proton Partners International Ltd, is under construction and will open later this year. The company is investing £30 million to build its own purpose-built centre, which will help to meet growing demand for proton beam therapy, a specialised type of cancer treatment that is not yet available in the UK.
Plans for the third building in Phase One were approved in February 2018.
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "The Thames Valley Science Park is the first of its kind in the region, and a sign of the University's commitment to investing in the local economy. Its location just outside London - and close to major transport hubs like the M4, Reading Station and Heathrow - will attract new UK and international businesses to the area, in turn creating more jobs and wealth.
"The launch today is the culmination of many years of hard work. It also represents an exciting moment for the University as it further enhances its reputation for excellence - locally, nationally and internationally."
Dr David Gillham, Director of Thames Valley Science Park, said: "I am hugely proud that the Thames Valley Science Park is now open for business. From the outset, our aim has been to create a community of ambitious like-minded companies who have an ability to make a genuine difference to the local region and the wider world.
"Some of our tenants have already moved in and the rest will follow in the coming months. A number of them began their relationship with the University many years ago, as they are currently located in our facilities on the Whiteknights Campus. It has been wonderful to see these companies grow and now expand into the bigger premises that the Science Park can offer them."
Dr. Alan Rhodes, Chief Technical Officer at biomedical company BioInteractions Limited, said: "The expansion of BioInteractions Ltd. into the new Thames Valley Science Park will provide us with cutting edge manufacturing and R&D facilities, as well as state-of the-art offices and IT systems. The new infrastructure will also enable us to carry out our strategic growth plans to develop novel materials for the medical device industry.
"We are excited and proud to continue our productive working relationship with the University of Reading, to develop the surrounding community, encourage science and technology and drive meaningful innovation in biotechnology within the Thames Valley."
The Thames Valley Science Park will eventually deliver approximately 800,000 square foot of flexible laboratory and office space in a campus style setting designed to encourage collaboration. Once completed, it will have the potential to provide up to 5,000 new jobs.
In May 2017, outline planning consent was granted for the second phase of the Thames Valley Science Park. Wokingham Borough Council approved the conceptual plans for approximately 15 further buildings on the remaining 600,000 square foot of the site, to be developed as and when required.
The initial investment in the Park includes £30 million from the University of Reading and £5 million from the European Union's European Regional Development Fund.
For more information on the Thames Valley Science Park, visit www.tvsp.co.uk