Blackstone portfolio company BioMed Realty plans to deliver approximately 800,000 square feet of additional high-quality purpose-built lab space, following the acquisition of two new sites in Cambridge.
BioMed, a leading provider of real estate solutions to the life science and technology industries, has acquired Cambridge International Technology Park (CITP), a 15-acre site on Fulbourn Road, from Abstract, and a 27-acre land plot at Granta Park from The Welding Institute (TWI). The proposed two new sites are still subject to planning consent.
The announcement would see a doubling of BioMed’s current life sciences real estate in Cambridge and support the creation of up to 2,700 new jobs.
The UK’s life sciences sector is a crucial part of the British economy, supporting 250,000 jobs and contributing more than £80 billion to GDP each year. As the largest life sciences market in the UK, Cambridge − the birthplace of stem cell research and artificial intelligence − is seen as an epicentre of research and innovation and is home to more labs than anywhere else in the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“This investment is hugely welcome news for Cambridge and the UK as a whole. The city was home to some of the country’s greatest scientific discoveries and I’m confident that the support of Blackstone’s BioMed Realty will mean there are many more to come.
“The jobs created by this investment are exactly the kind we want to see more of in the UK – high-skilled and future-facing, reflecting what the UK does best.”
Latest survey data shows all of Cambridge’s available lab space is currently under offer, potentially locking out promising start-ups from the market and slowing the growth of life sciences companies in the UK.
BioMed’s two new sites would meet the growing demand for space among technology, science and knowledge-based companies to create vaccines, develop new treatments and help respond to major global health challenges.
Blackstone and BioMed remain committed to driving growth through delivering sustainable buildings that minimise energy and water consumption, champion sustainable local transport initiatives, and encourage more investment from current and new businesses into the local economy.
BioMed entered the Cambridge, UK market in 2012 and has expanded to become the largest private owner of life science space in Cambridge. During this time, BioMed has created a vibrant life science ecosystem to support growth and opportunities for all stages of life science companies. BioMed’s Babraham Research Campus and Granta Park currently provide incubator space, scale up space for growth, and headquarter space to established enterprises such as Illumina, Gilead, AstraZeneca and Pfizer. The acquisitions of these two new development sites provides additional opportunities for companies to grow within BioMed’s portfolio and stay in the region.
Bill Kane, President, East Coast & UK Market at BioMed Realty, stated, “State-of-the-art life science facilities are a critical component to the speed at which scientific research is accelerating. BioMed is proud to meet the needs of this truly dynamic industry, helping companies to incubate, scale up and grow. These new developments at CITP and Granta Park will provide much needed life science space for existing and new companies, further advancing Cambridge as a global home for research while supporting the local economy.”
James Seppala, Head of Real Estate in Europe at Blackstone, said, “Life sciences remains one of Blackstone’s highest conviction investment themes. Together with BioMed Realty, we are committed to growing this area of investment for the long-term and providing the high-quality space that is needed to bring life-saving products and therapies to market and ensure the UK’s future success as a global leader in vaccine and drug development.”