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Green light for one of Europe’s largest life sciences campus

UBS Asset Management and Reef Group secure approval for the Stevenage-based facility.

Reef Group and UBS Asset Management have gained approval to develop one of Europe’s largest life sciences campuses in Stevenage, UK.

The positive decision came from Stevenage Borough Council’s planning committee and will pave the way for a new life sciences hub. The development will be delivered alongside GSK’s existing global R&D facility and the wider ecosystem at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.

It is expected to provide a sustainable and connected life science campus that combines companies from early-stage through to commercialisation, while also helping organisations reach the increasing demand for manufacturing and laboratory space in the UK.

The 15-building campus, called ‘Elevate Quarter’, will comprise a variety of different uses, including research and development offices, manufacturing facilities and flexible lab buildings, as well as training, innovation and collaboration spaces.

The new facility will boost Stevenage’s established reputation as Europe’s leading cluster for advanced therapies. Indeed, it is home to more than 40 organisations employing over 3,500 people.

Piers Slater, joint chief executive at Reef Group, was delighted about the decision: “The approval of our new life sciences campus in Stevenage further cements its position as Europe’s leading cluster for advanced therapies. Stevenage is ideally positioned to attract world-class talent and the campus will facilitate further collaboration between major multinationals and biotechs.”

Olivia Drew, portfolio manager, real estate and private markets at UBS Asset Management, reflected: “The delivery of the new life sciences campus will leverage years of unparalleled experience across both UBS and Reef. The buildings have been carefully designed to be at the cutting edge of sustainability and will facilitate world-leading R&D and advanced manufacturing. The new campus will support thousands of new jobs and boost the UK’s position as a global life sciences leader.”

Dr Tony Wood, chief scientific officer at GSK, concluded: “New lab space and facilities for the cutting-edge biotech companies of the future are in short supply, so we’re delighted to support the creation of a new life sciences campus at the heart of the Golden Triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge.

“Situated alongside one of our global R&D hubs, this is a really positive development for the sector and it’s great that we’re one step closer to work starting on the new Stevenage development.”

Construction is expected to start in late 2023 with completion for phase one targeted for the fourth quarter of 2025.