Request a Call
We encourage you to read our privacy and cookies policy.
22nd January 2024
Government plans for lab and tech space in Cambridge boost life sciences construction prospects.
Michael Gove launches Cambridge Development Group to tackle tech firms' lab space wait, who typically have to wait almost a year for available lab space.
Today, this shortage of available space for life sciences firms underpins the healthy prospects for work in the sector. A report from Savills earlier this year pointed to a continued imbalance in supply and demand in the so-called Golden Triangle with the vacancy rate for fitted lab space below 1% in both Cambridge and London and 7% in Oxford.
With fitted lab space in these three cities commanding rents typically 70% higher than conventional office space, the appeal of the sector to developers – and hence the prospects for new construction contracts - remains strong.
Yet even before Mr Gove’s controversial proposals take effect, Glenigan data shows that a significant volume of new construction work linked to new lab space is underway, or in the pipeline, both in Cambridge and in other life sciences clusters around the country.
Converting office space into labs
In London, a series of major office conversion projects are planned which will create new space for growing tech companies.
Last month, details emerged of plans by a Canadian investor, Oxford Properties, to convert an eight-storey former insurance office block which it owns in Bloomsbury Square into mostly ‘wet lab’ space for science-based businesses. Detailed plans have been granted for the £78.4 million conversion scheme, the Victoria House Redevelopment, which is being undertaken jointly with Pioneer Group and where work is set to start later this year and run for five months (Project ID: 23075876).
Further east in the capital, plans have been approved for the 23-storey Canary Wharf North Quay Life Science Building, a major £500 million project which will be the largest commercial wet lab-enabled life science building in Europe. Work on the project, involving nearly 80,000 sq m of space, is set to start later this year and run for 44 months (Project ID: 22120609).
Meanwhile in Cambridge itself, some inventive ways of creating new space for life sciences businesses are taking shape. At the Grafton Life Sciences Cambridge (pictured), a former shopping centre is being part-demolished and new space created for the life sciences sector alongside a new hotel and leisure quarter. Work on the £39.49 million scheme is set to get underway in the spring of next year and run for ten months (Project ID: 23099519).
New construction projects to increase capacity for the life sciences sector are emerging in other cities. In Manchester, plans are at the pre-tender stage for a £11.9 million, 39,000 sq ft life sciences building at Cheadle Royal Business Park where work could start next spring (Project ID: 23165010).
Meanwhile, in nearby Cheshire, plans have been approved for the £60.8 million Life Sciences Development at Alderley Park in Macclesfield involving two new office/laboratory buildings where work is set to start next summer (Project ID: 22066980).
Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.
Related sector topics:
Get the latest industry news and insights.
You can unsubscribe at any time. We encourage you to read our privacy and cookies policy.