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Life sciences sector gaining investment despite the economic climate

Despite tricky current economic conditions life sciences have received significant impetus from both central government and private equity investment in recent months.

Perhaps inspired by the sectors contribution to the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Prime Minister and Technology Secretary launched the government’s 10-year strategy to make the UK a “Science Superpower” by 2030 earlier this year.  This strategy was backed by a £370m financial package to boost investment in innovation, attract the world’s best talent to the UK and to invest in new technologies, such as AI.

From the private sector, a clear example of high-level investment being made in the field is the £900m life science campus planned in Stevenage. Spanning an impressive 1.6 million square feet, this visionary project will showcase state-of-the-art laboratories, modern offices, and advanced manufacturing facilities. Developers UBS Asset Management and Reef Group said the project, named the Elevate Quarter, will be "one of Europe’s largest life science campuses", and claimed it could create up to 5,000 new jobs. Construction of the new campus will begin next year and, subject to planning permission, parts of it will open for business in 2025. Talks with prospective tenants have begun and UBS is forecasting a £1.5 billion valuation on the site once it is developed.

 With the challenges faced by other traditional real estate sectors such as residential (due to planning constraints) and office space (experiencing a downturn in demand following the hybrid working shift), it is essential for funders and developers to explore thriving areas of the economy to optimise their return on investment. The contribution of an estimated £43.3billion in GVA, according to recent PwC analysis, is evidence to the fact that the life sciences industry will play a vital role in boosting the UK economy in 2024 and beyond.’

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