Bruntwood SciTech has expanded into the UK’s ‘golden triangle’ of elite research universities, acquiring a £46.2m long leasehold of Melbourn Science Park in Cambridge from tech and product development company TTP.
The deal will see Legal & General and Bruntwood, the joint venture partners behind Bruntwood SciTech, form a strategic partnership with TTP and work with the local planning authority to develop a masterplan for the 16.4-acre site.
Launched in 2018, Bruntwood SciTech started life as a portfolio of eight sites in the North and the Midlands with ambitions to expand to other parts of the country and add 6m sq ft of sites over 10 years.
Its partnership with TTP will deliver a new life sciences incubator at Melbourn Science Park, which is home to companies including AstraZeneca, SPT Labtech, Cellular Highways, LEX Diagnostics as well as TTP itself.
TTP will also work with Bruntwood SciTech on a new innovation services programme to provide additional access to venture capital, new markets, products and prototyping opportunities to the more than 500 businesses based at Bruntwood SciTech sites.
Kate Lawlor, CEO of Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Establishing a presence in Cambridge creates a vital connection between the golden triangle and some of the UK’s other leading innovation districts in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham.
“It further enables us to support the levelling up of the UK economy, building our network to increase the flow of investments, talent and capital into the UK science and tech sector.”
Bruntwood SciTech aims to create more than 20,000 new jobs within the UK’s science and tech sectors over the next decade. The announcement about its entry into Cambridge came less than two weeks after the publication of the government’s plans to develop the OxCam Arc, which included ambitions for it to become a “world-leading and globally renowned” centre for innovation.
Eleanor Jukes, senior investment manager at L&G Capital, said: “In the wake of Covid-19, the continued expansion of the UK’s life science sector is increasingly important. That’s why we are putting society’s pension money to work to continue to foster and fund innovation.
“Bruntwood SciTech continues to lead the way in this space, and its move into the Golden Triangle is exemplary of its major expansion; where we can now work in partnership with more world-leading universities, science and technology businesses and ground-breaking start-ups.”
Sam Hyde, CEO of TTP, said: “Melbourn Science Park has been central to TTP’s success over the past 30 years. We are retaining our presence at the Park and are committed to – and excited by – its future. We’re delighted to be entering into this new partnership with Bruntwood SciTech. They share our commitment to the Park and to the local area, and this partnership represents an exciting next stage. It will bring new investment and help grow and take the site forward as an important, dedicated hub for life sciences.”
In October, PlaceTech reported that Bruntwood SciTech was in talks with the University of Oxford to acquire Begbroke Science Park, north of Oxford city centre, but it has yet to complete a deal in the area. A spokesman for Bruntwood SciTech said: “We’re continuing to work closely with L&G to identify any opportunities to support their developments in Oxford and Cambridge.”
L&G agreed a £4bn deal with Oxford University in 2019 to deliver a number of projects for the university, including new science parks at Osney Mead and Begbroke alongside subsidised rented accommodation for university and college staff at Begbroke.
JLL advised TTP on the Melbourn Science Park transaction.