- Refurbishment work begins to transform a disused goods-in-storage area at the heart of Rothamsted’s campus in Harpenden into nine mini laboratories to help meet demand for prime lab space.
- New tenant companies will join a thriving ecosystem of Agri-tech, food tech and innovation businesses that have collocated on site with the world leading research expertise at Rothamsted Research. Rothamsted’s campus also offers excellent road and rail links to London and beyond and is located a 15-minute drive from Luton Airport.
- This £1.8m project is being jointly funded by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) via the Local Growth Fund, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT).
Winter 2022 is set to be a busy and exciting time for Rothamsted Enterprises as refurbishment work begins to bring a storage warehouse back into use as a centre for agri-tech, food tech and innovation businesses.
The warehouse has lain empty since 2019 and will be renovated to provide a range of accommodation for businesses, including grow-on and start-up space. The building will contain nine laboratories of various sizes from 20.49m2 to 30.97m2.
In total the newly refurbished laboratories will accommodate up to 14 people, with new tenants of this building having access to a range of other spaces, from an open plan innovation space, where entrepreneurs can work together before prototyping their ideas and testing on site, to grow-on spaces and offices for expanding start-ups and related businesses.
Peter Oxley, CEO at the Lawes Agricultural Trust, said: “Increased demand is behind the expansion of our innovation facilities for businesses, with the other buildings occupied by external businesses (Daniel Hall, Lawes Open Innovation Hub and the Russell Building) on the Rothamsted estate currently at full capacity. This is extremely positive news for the campus, for entrepreneurs, for the town, and for the region, as we bring more jobs and businesses into the town.”
Demand for more lab space has also been boosted by the privately funded accelerator programme ‘Shake Climate Change’, which provides entrepreneurs and SMEs with funding and on-site support to encourage cross-working of various sciences.
Dianne Lee, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP’s Life Sciences Industry Panel, said: “Rothamsted’s world-class agricultural research expertise and rich ecosystem of businesses makes it the ideal home for agri-tech and food-tech innovators, offering valuable opportunities to collaborate and grow together. Rothamsted is part of Herts IQ, our next generation enterprise zone which connects tech, talent and research to attract ambitious businesses to Hertfordshire. We’re delighted that our £1m Local Growth Fund investment will help bring new lab space to the market to help us do just that.”