Nottingham Gets "Grow Ahead" for New £30m Life Science Facility
News Aug 24, 2015
Contracts have now been signed by all parties and work has begun on site. The five-storey state-of-the-art facility forms an expansion of the highly successful BioCity complex, and will be operated by BioCity Group Ltd after they signed contracts with Nottingham City Council this week.
It can also be announced that Sygnature Discovery, currently based in the Laurus building at BioCity, will take up 30,000 sq ft of the 50,000 sq ft available in the new building. This is part of the company’s plan to increase headcount in Nottingham by a further 70 scientists and support staff, to over 200 by 2018. It will also further cement its reputation as the UK’s leading provider of advanced scientific expertise to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
This in turn frees up space in the existing building for more developing companies to make use of its excellent incubator facilities.
Willmott Dixon has been appointed main contractor and CPMG of Nottingham the architects, under an agreement which will see local people benefit from construction jobs on the project. Expected to complete in spring 2017, the facility will help to bring more life science employers to Nottingham and create and safeguard around 250 specialist bioscience jobs, with 700 more created over a 30-year period – often graduates from the city’s universities.
The prominent brownfield site on Plough Lane overlooking Parliament Street will benefit from a striking new building which design includes a sunscreen created by acclaimed local artist Wolfgang Buttress. The building will be designed to aim to achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) rating, aimed at reducing its environmental impact. It will be connected to the district heating system and so its energy needs will be provided from burning the city’s waste. The new development is expected to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the Eastside of the city.
The site was bought, cleared and decontaminated by Nottingham City Council for the state-of-the-art life science incubator to be developed. The facility will be fitted with high-tech biology and chemistry laboratories which will be built in a range of sizes to allow companies to expand, with ancillary space for commercial leasing to both start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.
The City Council successfully applied to the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership for £6.5m from its Local Growth Fund towards the overall costs of the scheme, with the remaining costs funded by the council.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Regeneration, said: “This is a significant development because not only will it cement our position as the UK’s fastest-growing life science community, bringing new investment and job opportunities in one of our key growth sectors, but it will also help to regenerate the east side of the city and bring job opportunities during its construction.”
Operations Director at BioCity Toby Reid said: "This is a real statement of intent for Nottingham as a leader in the life sciences sector. Not only have we ensured that a company of the standing of Sygnature Discovery has remained here as a beacon of excellence in the sector but we've also been able to create further space to accommodate our own growth and that of the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs."