Harwell: Science campus secures £110m from Santander

Harwell Campus, the UK’s science and innovation hub, has secured £110 million funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial to further expand the Campus, and enter its next 400,000 sq ft phase of development.  

Santander has assisted with growth that will exceed 1 million sq ft in under eight years. With a total of 5.5m sq ft planned development, Harwell Campus is rapidly becoming the fastest growing UK location dedicated to the science and technology sector.

Catering for science and technology organisations at every stage of their growth, the development will further expand Harwell’s unique portfolio of hybrid buildings, offering flexible space comprising offices, laboratories and high-tech manufacturing facilities. As well as being the UK headquarters for multinationals, Harwell offers business incubation from Seed or Series A, and throughout their lifecycle.

The Campus provides free business service workshops covering legal, financial, and marketing advice, networking events, and access to an onsite network of corporates, public agencies and venture capital firms to collaborate with, and access funding from.

Europe’s largest collection of open-access scientific facilities, worth over £2billion is located at Harwell. Companies looking to grow at pace, or explore new markets, can advance their research, validate and test their technology, and tap into the knowledge and skills of the 5,500 people strong science and tech Campus community. Focusing on the core sectors of Life Sciences, Energy and Space, and with an estimated Gross Value Added of more than £1billion, these investments generate impressive returns in terms of job creation and national economic growth.

According to a recent report, Oxford and Cambridge are estimated to need 2.5m sq ft  (the equivalent of 40 football fields) of laboratory and research space to accommodate growth. It is predicted that meeting this target would contribute £2.8 billion to the UK economy. With this development at Harwell Campus – the equivalent of the UK’s largest stadium, Wembley, or seven football fields – the UK is already making strides towards meeting this target.

William Cooper, partner in the Joint Venture at Harwell Campus, said: “This round of funding enables us to expand our unique portfolio of attractive hybrid buildings. Having Santander alongside us puts Harwell in a strong position for continued growth in order to meet the pent-up demand for 2.5 million sq ft of research labs in Oxbridge alone.”

Harwell and Santander continue their shared commitment to investing in the UK’s science and technology sectors, and growing the UK’s knowledge economy.

Lance Anelay, real-estate finance director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We have supported the expansion of Harwell Campus through five construction schemes over the last eight years and we are excited to be working alongside them once again. The new facilities will further enhance Harwell’s profile within the global scientific community and provide a boost to the UK economy.”

Angus Horner, partner and director of Harwell Campus, said: “Our relationship with Santander is born out of our mutual commitment to stimulate the UK’s science and tech sectors, drive economic growth in the UK and boost the nation’s standing in the global market.

“With a total of 5.5 million sq ft of planned development Harwell Campus is one of the most ambitious regeneration and rejuvenation projects happening right now in the UK property sector.”

Harwell Campus is rapidly expanding via a private public partnership between Harwell Oxford Partners and U+I, plus two government-backed agencies, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).

Tom Edgerley, development director at U+I, a partner in the joint venture at Harwell Campus, said: “The success of Harwell is based on great partnerships, and the latest funding news is testament to this. Harwell is an example of the far-reaching benefits successful public private sector partnerships can bring – not just to investors and developers, but to the communities that use the final development. We’ve been involved in the partnership at Harwell for 5 years and during that time we are proud to see continued growth and new discoveries emerging from the Campus.”

Eastdil Secured acted as financial adviser to Harwell on the transaction.