Award-winning sector specialist Jeanette Walker joins property investment and development company 

Cambridge-based property investor and developer Howard Group is delighted to announce the appointment of Jeanette Walker as Interim Director – Unity Campus.  

Widely recognised within the Cambridge science and real estate communities as a highly experienced authority in science eco-systems, business development, investment and community building,  Jeanette has an exceptional track record. 

Her previous roles include Head of New Business at East of England International – the regions’ inward investment agency – and eight years as Director of Business Development at the Eastern Region Biotechnology Initiative (ERBI). 

In 2010, Jeanette was appointed Director of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus where she was instrumental in attracting AstraZeneca and Abcam to the Campus, and in creating a strong sense of community – an achievement recognised by winning Property Week’s prestigious Place Making Award in 2014.

In 2017 Jeanette became the inaugural Director of the Cambridge Science Park where she led the Park’s marketing and master planning activities.  Fuelled by her passion for technology and community building, Jeanette is credited with having transformed the Park into a thriving innovation eco-system where people genuinely love to work. 

She also developed the Park’s 2050 Vision and secured a £200m investment in the Science Park for new buildings, including a 40,000 sq ft Bio Innovation Centre from TusPark. 

In the newly created role of Interim Director – Unity Campus, Jeanette will be focusing on Howard Group’s 11.5-acre estate at Sawston, which is already home to 9 life science companies currently housed in 75,000 sq ft (6,900 sq m).

Building on the success of the first phase of development, which included the transformation of a 1970s industrial unit into stunning state-of-the-art laboratories and offices called The Works, Phase 2 will provide a total of 95,000 sq ft (8,800 sq m) of lab and office space across three new buildings. Scheduled to  commence this year, a detailed planning application is currently under review. 

Jeanette will be instrumental in developing the vision for the Campus and in building relationships, networks and awareness across the life science and wider commercial property sector communities at both a regional and national level. In line with Howard Group’s commitment to creating places which enhance the lives of those who live and work in and around them, Jeanette will help to initiate a campus-wide community engagement programme which will include social, health & wellbeing, business support and external community engagement.

Nicholas Bewes, Chief Executive, Howard Group, said: “Jeanette brings invaluable experience and knowledge of the technology and life science markets to what is a new role for Howard Group. As such her appointment significantly reinforces our position as a key deliverer of flexible lab-enabled space and a facilitator of connected science and technology communities in the Cambridge Cluster.

“We look forward to working with Jeanette to help deliver the business environments that innovative companies within the Cluster and across the region need to facilitate the extraordinary growth they are experiencing.”

Katherine Friend, Director – Investment & Asset Management, Howard Group, added: “We are delighted to welcome Jeanette to the team at such a significant stage in the delivery of Howard Group’s development programme at Unity Campus – the next available new purpose-built space for life science companies in South Cambridge. 

“Her extensive experience will help to ensure that Unity Campus continues to be an integral provider of high-quality collaborative space, jobs and growth within the thriving Cambridge and East of England life science and technology community and the UK science sector as a whole.” 

Jeanette Walker said: “I am honoured to be joining an ambitious, family-owned firm of developers and investors with such a strong sense of purpose.  I look forward to helping them become a major contributor to the success of the science and technology cluster in Cambridge.”