British pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) has unveiled its plan to develop one of Europe’s largest life science campuses in the UK.
Over £400m of new private investment will be unlocked and up to 5,000 new jobs will be created over the next decade.
The hub, which will be in GSK’s existing location of Stevenage, will make it one of Europe’s largest biotechnology ‘clusters’ and early-stage life science companies.
The campus has been supported by the UK Government and will be developed in partnership with several other local and national companies. GSK is currently seeking to partner with a development company and part of the proposals means that GSK is looking to sell 33 acres of land, with the aim to unlock the £400m new investment from a private sector developer to build the new campus and create jobs. The project will commence in 2022
Tony Wood, Senior Vice President, Medicinal Science & Technology, GSK said: “The past 18 months has shown the UK life sciences sector at its best and the UK has recently unveiled an ambitious 10-year vision for the UK life sciences sector. Our goal is for Stevenage to emerge as a top destination for medical and scientific research by the end of the decade. We are excited to find a development partner to realise our vision to foster the next generation of world-class scientists and biotechnology firms in Britain.”
GSK said the new campus will attract several world-class research organisations to the area, creating opportunities for collaboration. The area already benefits from the “highly-successful” Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. Both raised approximately £1.6bn of funding, from private and public funds, including GSK.
Dr Sally Ann Forsyth OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst said: “Stevenage is already a leading location for life science companies to develop and commercialise cutting edge therapeutics.
"Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is home to over 40 companies, and today’s proposal presents exciting opportunities to build on this by supporting their growth, attracting new organisations to the ecosystem and facilitating further collaboration with world-class organisations. We look forward to working with GSK and other partners to further develop the thriving life sciences campus in Stevenage.”
Life science development
The statement read: “The new campus – which would sit next to GSK’s existing site at Stevenage - could ultimately deliver 100,000 square metres of new floorspace for commercial life sciences research and development.”
Councillor Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council said: “I am deeply proud that Stevenage is home to a world-leading life science cluster and welcome plans for a new life sciences campus. This will cement our standing as a leading STEM location within the UK. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that we create new, quality jobs and opportunities for our town and our country.
"Our shared commitment is to make Stevenage even better, working with businesses, residents, community groups and partners to help regenerate the town and create many new jobs and opportunities for local people. We look forward to continuing our work with the life sciences sector to make Stevenage a leading light in the discovery and development of the medicines of the future.”