GlaxoSmithKline plans to build one of Europe’s largest biotech campuses, creating up to 5,000 jobs in the UK and attracting Â£ 400million in private investment.
The pharmaceutical group will sell 33 acres of land at its site in the town of Stevenage in Hertfordshire to raise funds from private investors and turn it into a life science park.
The company would aim to create up to 5,000 jobs over the next five to ten years, the company said.
GSK intends to select a development partner this year to begin work in 2022 and transform the land into the company’s 92-acre research and development site.
“Our goal is for Stevenage to become a destination of choice for medical and scientific research by the end of the decade,” said Tony Wood, senior vice president of medical science and technology at GSK.
âThe past 18 months have shown the best of the UK life sciences sector,â he added, noting that the country had developed a 10-year vision for its life sciences sector.
The investment comes as GSK prepares to split up its consumer health division, leaving a lean company focused on pharmaceuticals and vaccines. The “new GSK” is trying to reorganize its drug pipeline by investing heavily in research and development.
But the spin-off has also raised questions about whether the group could be an acquisition target for overseas buyers, which could be of concern to some politicians who are making the UK a hub for science investments. life after Brexit.
The UK government this month unveiled its 10-year strategy for investing in life sciences, hoping to accelerate the development of treatments for diseases such as dementia and new immune therapies such as vaccines against the cancer.
While commercial real estate has struggled with bottlenecks and fears that many workers will not return to the office full time, some owners have been keen to invest in life science campuses as investments in the sector increased during the pandemic.
A record Â£ 2.4 billion was invested in life sciences real estate in the ‘golden triangle’ of London, Oxford and Cambridge in 2020, according to Bidwells, a consultancy firm.