Brexit Britain WIN as world’s biggest property investors back ‘science superpower’ UK

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UK scientific labs and Life Sciences firms are set to receive billions of pounds of funding from some of the world’s biggest property investors. This comes as a boost to the Government’s goal of turning the UK into a “science superpower”, particularly as they slash regulations after leaving the EU.

US property developer and investor Tishman Speyer, which owns major landmark buildings like the Rockefeller Center, along with biotechnology investment firm Bellco Capital, has raised a $3billionn (£2.4billion) capital to purchase and develop buildings in the UK that will be used for life sciences.

These include both highly advanced laboratories and traditional office spaces that are located near key research hubs.

The companies stated that the UK will be their second-biggest target after the US, and estimate that the two firms could spend as much as $6billion (£4.8billion) through their joint venture, called Breakthrough Properties.

Rob Speyer, chief executive of Tishman Speyer co-chairman of Breakthrough, said: “We couldn’t be more excited about the future of the UK today.

Brexit Britain WIN as world’s biggest property investors back ‘science superpower’ UK

Brexit Britain WIN as world’s biggest property investors back ‘science superpower’ UK (Image: Getty)

Aerial View of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxforshire

Aerial View of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxforshire (Image: David Goddard/Getty)

“There is capital coming in to support science, government support and expertise, we’re just following the science.”

This comes as major Canadian investor Brookfield Asset Management launched a life sciences property platform targeted at the UK.

This platform, named Advanced Research Clusters, or Arc, brings all of Brookfield’s scientific assets in the UK under one roof.

These include the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus south of Oxford, a massive 1.6 million square feet of laboratory and office space where scientists focus on sectors including Space, Clean Energy, Life Sciences and Quantum Computing.

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Six ways Britain can lead a green revolution

Six ways Britain can lead a green revolution (Image: Express)

The Canadian investor is looking to spend about £1.5bn-£2bn in developing more research facility space over the next five to 10 years.

This investment will more than quadruple Brookfield’s presence in the sector, with a majority of the new funding going towards expanding the Harwell campus, which is co-owned by the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

A key reason why investors have looked towards the UK for scientific research is the high number of internationally renowned universities and research institutions.

In the past few years, researchers at Oxford university played a major role in creating a vaccine for Covid, which they developed in collaboration with Astra Zeneca.


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The Harwell campus is set to receive a £1.5 bn expansion

The Harwell campus is set to receive a £1.5 bn expansion (Image: RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The UK is poised to be scientific superpower

The UK is poised to be scientific superpower (Image: Getty)

The Science sector in the UK also benefits from strong support from both venture capital investors and the UK government, which has pledged £1bn to support life sciences companies.

According to Michael Turner, president of Oxford Properties, the real estate investment arm of Omers, the Canadian pension scheme, which has spent heavily on life sciences properties, Britain’s departure from the EU did not make it lose its appeal as a hub for international investors.

He said: “Brexit has led the UK through the 12 stages of grief . . . [but] the self-pity is overdone. It’s a good place to invest: well-governed, with a good economy and rule of law.”

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