Discovery Park
Kathryn Clapham

Member Article

Discovery Park set to generate 3000 jobs

Discovery Park has announced plans to potentially generate 3,000 new jobs by 2017, which represents a 400 per cent increase from the site’s current position.

The news follows the Park’s recent change of ownership whereby the former Pfizer site, was bought by Discovery Park Limited on 1 August 2012. The consortium led by chief executive, Chris Musgrave alongside chairman, Trevor Cartner and supported by Palmer Capital plans to significantly invest in the site to deliver a sustainable mixed use community.

The 297 acre site currently employs 900 people across 14 companies including Augean, Mylan, Peakdale Chemistry Services, Pfizer and LGC among others. Long term, Discovery Park Limited plans to attract new tenants including government scientific bodies, research organisations and science and technology businesses to the site. The aspiration is to take full advantage of the benefits of the site’s Enterprise Zone status and the government funded tax reliefs for science companies as an incentive to attract global brands.

In addition, there is a clear focus on attracting universities and academic institutions to Discovery Park to help stimulate new business activity. The company’s business development team is proactively identifying national and international academic institutions with a view to offering a bespoke package to meet the requirements of potential academic partners.

Discovery Park Limited has a proven track record in delivering projects of a similar scale as Chris and Trevor also own Wynyard Park, a 700 acre site in Teesside, north east England. Wynyard Park is home to a thriving business community of over 65 organisations including Huntsman and AMEC and has generated approximately 2,000 jobs since its inception in 2005. Palmer Capital has funded £1.25bn of UK real estate projects over the last five years.

Chris Musgrave, chief executive, Discovery Park says: “We recognised the potential of the site immediately and were confident that we could make a real difference from the outset. Over the last fifty years Pfizer has established a long and rich heritage on site, which we are keen to build upon and our plan is to showcase the extraordinary facilities to the global life science, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, science and technology industries, among others. To have such a diverse range of services in one location - from laboratories to incubator space, specialist niche manufacturing and R&D facilities to warehouse units - is a unique proposition and one which we believe sets Sandwich apart from its competitors.

“We have ambitious plans to invest in the Park and in spring 2013, following a period of research and consultation, we will unveil our master plan for the site. Our vision is quite simple, we want to create a sustainable mixed use community centred around the world class science and technology offering Discovery Park already has and which we plan to enhance.

“To ensure the Park continues to evolve we are committed to responding to market demand and tailoring packages to suit the needs of our tenants. As such, we plan to build upon the benefits available to businesses locating to the Enterprise Zone and have developed an approach whereby we are moving away from traditional tenant packages and are open to looking at developing strategic partnerships which could take the form of a joint venture or investment from Discovery Park Limited by way of the provision of assets or space.”

Trevor Cartner, chairman, Discovery Park adds: “The site represented a unique opportunity to replicate the approach we have taken at Wynyard Park which has resulted in an empty site being transformed into a successful business development that is currently operating at 90per cent capacity. We now have over 2,000 people at Wynyard Park and are continuing to expand, investing in the facilities and amenities to ensure its long term sustainability. Similarly, we are confident that following a period of significant inward investment, Discovery Park will have established itself as one of the leading locations for the science and technology sectors, offering a diverse portfolio of facilities and serving a global marketplace.”

Ray Palmer, Chairman of Palmer Capital specialist fund management and venture capital firm and shareholder in Discovery Park also commented: “Since we completed the acquisition of Discovery Park in August I have seen Chris and Trevor working very effectively with the team at Discovery Park to quickly put in place the regeneration plan. It is most encouraging that we are already starting to see some really positive results.”

Discovery Park is one of the largest business parks in Europe and its specialist focus on science and technology has enabled it to create a unique platform for emerging and established companies in the fields of biotechnology; life science; pharmaceuticals; research and development; science and technology, to connect, share knowledge and expertise.

For more information visit www.discovery-park.co.uk

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Kathryn Clapham .

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