Wright Hassall hosted the first of their Thought Leader events on 6 March 2018 with attendees from a number of science parks and UKSPA business affiliates braving the last of the snow. Head of Real Estate, David Slade, welcomed attendees from the University of Warwick Science Park, Lincoln Science and Innovation Park, Oxford Innovation, University of Nottingham Innovation Park, MIRA Technology Park, and the National Innovation Centre for Ageing, SharpAhead, Clarity Core, Gleeds, and Arthur J Gallagher. The day consisted of a number of discussions relating to everything from the planning process, through funding to the construction and later management and operation of a science park. 

Avoiding lectures and presentations, the round table format enabled everyone to actively participate and to contribute to discussions of best practice going forward, the challenges overcome, and those new challenges looming on the horizon.

The discussions were led by Wright Hassall’s science park expert, Barry Sankey, who brought in expertise from across the firm. Planning discussions, directed by Rebecca Mushing, focussed on how best to approach new development and successfully making planning applications. Funding was discussed and the difficulties surrounding obtaining traditional debt funding were explored led by Judith Gershon. Mike Hiscock steered the group through current construction issues including choice of design and build over retaining control over the design process. Finally, Michael Goldfinch led discussions regarding the on-going management of a site, the benefits and dangers of licences.

We would like to thank all those who attended for their contributions and the feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive. If you would like to attend the next Wright Hassall Thought Leader event, or have any issues that you would like raising, please let us know either at the next UKSPA meeting in Lincoln or by email at barry.sankey@wrighthassall.co.uk or telephone on 01926 884 630.

Submitted on 14/03/2018