Sci-Tech Daresbury Enterprise Zone enters next phase of development

Posted on 2 October 2014 · Posted in News

The UK’s leading science and innovation campus, Sci-Tech Daresbury, is now actively working up plans to begin its next phase of growth having acquired a valuable strategic development site adjacent to its main campus access to incorporate into its ambitious development plans.

Sci-Tech Daresbury is one of the UK’s 24 government-backed Enterprise Zone sites and is an internationally recognised location which is home to some of the world’s leading research facilities. These include cutting edge particle accelerators and one of the UK’s most powerful super computers, both part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The site’s flagship Enterprise Zone development, Vanguard House is now 68 per cent full with 13 high-tech tenant companies in residence.

Having recently been awarded £3.587m of Enterprise Zone capital grant funding, the new phase of the campus is set to deliver up to 220,000 sq ft of new office and laboratory space spread across five or six buildings, and work to start preparing the site and delivering the first phase infrastructure is due to begin this year.

John Downes, chief executive of Langtree and director of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture board, said: “The announcement of this latest phase of development marks a key stage in our plans for the Sci-Tech Daresbury site. The campus is a key growth driver for the region and the fact we are proceeding with these ambitious site expansion plans and the speculative development of the office and laboratory complex speaks volumes for our commitment to Sci-Tech Daresbury and the demand for what we are proposing.

“The private/public partnership between Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council and Halton Borough Council has been incredibly effective and the site’s proven ability to deliver results and foster collaboration between high-tech business and government-funded science, has been a critical factor in unlocking government investment.

“Investment in Sci-Tech Daresbury is critical for the health of the North West’s economy.  In order to compete in global markets we must ensure that we have the right base of facilities and an environment that supports the growth of businesses based on technology and innovation. Our project partners share this vision and we believe the physical developments planned will help address a lack of new laboratory and office space in the region and support the expansion of the wide range of the businesses already thriving at Sci-Tech Daresbury, while also attracting a wide range of new companies to the site.”

John Womersley, Chief Executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, added: “Sci-Tech Daresbury is a vibrant combination of enterprise and open innovation that is underpinned by scientific excellence on an international scale. Today’s announcement is a welcome commitment to the long-term growth and success of the campus, and is of course excellent news to the strong pipeline of high-tech companies, from both within and outside of the region, looking to re-locate their businesses to Sci-Tech Daresbury.”

Cllr Ron Hignett, Halton Borough Council’s portfolio holder for Physical Environment, welcomed the new development: “Sci-Tech Daresbury is an important asset for Halton, the North West and the UK. We have been working hard with our joint venture partners, Langtree and the Science and Technology Facilities Council, to move it to another level. This development will help Sci-Tech Daresbury to cement its place as the premier science and innovation campus in the UK. It is great news for Halton.”

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “This expansion is great news for Sci-Tech Daresbury especially as the expanded site will be able to accommodate more businesses and create hundreds of new jobs for the area.

“Innovative sites like Daresbury are an important part of the government’s long-term economic plan and show how Enterprise Zones are helping to build resilient economies and bring widespread benefits to communities.”