Cambridge’s new urban innovation district welcomes Royal party and guests to celebrate its existing innovative community and mark the next stage of campus development
HRH The Duke of Gloucester recently visited the new Unity Campus development in Cambridge.
Welcomed by Nicholas Bewes, CEO, Howard Group, the developer of the site, The Duke and dignitaries, including HM Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Julie Spence OBE and The High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, Jennifer Crompton began with a tour of The Works building. Completed in February 2020, The Works was re-developed from an old industrial warehouse into a vibrant, contemporary laboratory and office space during the first phase of re-development on site.
Having discussed the history of the Campus, current campus occupiers, Summit Therapeutics, Phoremost, Domainex and Telensa met HRH The Duke of Gloucester to explain more about the innovative work being undertaken within these organisations. A tour of the laboratory facilities of biotechnology company, IONTAS, followed, enabling The Duke to experience ‘science in action’. Led by IONTAS Chief Operating Officer, Jon Green and Chief Scientific Officer, Peter Slavny, His Royal Highness had the opportunity to visit selected laboratories to see and hear about the research being undertaken by IONTAS, which is focused on the development of novel antibody therapeutics using phage display and proprietary next generation Mammalian Display technology.
The Duke was then introduced to representatives from FutureIn – a Cambridge focused programme providing young people at risk of homelessness or from challenging backgrounds the opportunity to train as apprentices within the construction sector – and met the first FutureIn apprentice, Tony Cooley, whose apprenticeship is being facilitated by Howard Group and Morgan Sindall Construction, the contractors currently on site at Unity Campus.
Bob Ensch, Programme Director, FutureIn said “It was an honour to meet HRH The Duke of Gloucester and have the opportunity to not only discuss the work of FutureIn but also introduce our first apprentice, Tony, who began his apprenticeship at Unity Campus this month.
“FutureIn’s objective is to make a difference in young people’s lives and enable a secure future through education and skills support whilst also supporting accommodation requirements for the duration of the programme. Having the opportunity to highlight the work of FutureIn at this event was a fantastic way to raise awareness and interest to ensure we can continue to develop and support the needs of these young people into the future.”
A ceremonial turf cutting to celebrate the next stage of development on campus; the provision of an additional circa 90,000 sq ft of exceptional, flexible life science laboratory space across three buildings was followed by tea in The Works where HRH The Duke of Gloucester had the opportunity to meet invited guests and campus occupiers before unveiling a commemorative plaque to officially open the campus.
Having unveiled the plaque, HRH The Duke of Gloucester commented: “Having watched how Cambridge has grown internationally in the science world there seems no limit to the scope of research and development being undertaken here. Visiting Cambridge, meeting the scientists involved and seeing first-hand the type of discoveries being made here is fascinating. Providing the appropriate space for these discoveries is critical and you are carefully providing it; discussing and thinking about what these organisations need and then delivering it. I am delighted to unveil this plaque to commemorate the opening of Unity Campus.”
Nicholas Bewes, CEO, Howard Group added: “We were extremely honoured to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to Unity Campus and showcase some of the amazing science and innovation taking place here by organisations that are working to make a significant impact upon our society. We look forward to welcoming many other companies to Unity Campus over the next few years as the new facilities emerge within a development which has sustainability at its core.
“As a long-standing, family-owned business, Howard Group is committed to making a real difference across the communities where we work; a value shared by the organisations we work with to deliver projects such as Unity Campus. Many of our partners and members of the community were represented at the event and we were delighted to be able to share the day with them.”
Image: HRH The Duke of Gloucester unveils a plaque to commemorate the opening of Unity Campus. (L to R: Nicholas Bewes, CEO, Howard Group and HRH The Duke of Gloucester)
Image Credit: Keith Heppell