Central Oxford life sciences lab and office development celebrates latest milestone

Mission Street, a specialist investor, developer and operator for the science and innovation sector, last week ‘topped out’ its latest project in central Oxford, where the company is delivering “much-needed” lab space for the city’s fast-growing science and technology sectors.

Mission Street, as part of a joint venture with BGO that is delivering over 1.2 million square feet of lab and office space in key strategic UK locations, is undertaking a major redevelopment of two retail-warehouse units on Botley Road in Oxford’s West End.

Known as Inventa, the scheme will deliver 65,000 square feet of prime, well connected innovation real estate within a 10 minutes-walk of Oxford railway station and city centre amenities.

The topping out ceremony held on July 27 was attended by local stakeholders, partners and advisors, to celebrate the completion of the development’s new structure. The scheme is due for practical completion in Q4 2023.

Inventa is the first commercial sciences scheme to be delivered as part of Oxford’s West End, an area which is set to undergo significant transformation to become Oxford’s prime central innovation district. In December, Mission Street submitted a planning application for Phase 2, a 183,000 sf new-build known as Fabrica, on the site of the DFS and Carpetright.

In addition to the Mission Street developments, there is a further pipeline of over 1,000,000 sq ft of science-led space within the West End area which will follow in the near to medium term. This includes the Oxpens development, which is awaiting a planning decision.

News of the joint venture’s latest milestone comes amid a flurry of government announcements and initiatives designed to capitalise on the output of the UK’s pre-eminent research institutions.

It is recognised that high-growth, knowledge intensive companies have historically been held back by the headwinds of economic regulation restricting their fund-raising, and a lack of appropriate physical infrastructure. In June Jeremy Hunt announced £650m of pledges to support the UK’s life sciences sector, dubbed the “Life Sci for Growth” package.

This will see up to £250m committed to incentivising pension schemes to invest in “promising” science and technology companies while nearly £50m has also been pledged to scientific efforts to prepare for future health emergencies. In addition, £154m will go towards increasing the capacity of the UK’s biological data bank.

Artem Korolev, founder and CEO of Mission Street, commented: “We are proud to be delivering a scheme that genuinely provides benefits at a local level, whilst addressing the chronic undersupply of high-quality lab and office space that is much needed in the Oxford ecosystem.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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