Oxfordshire: Science Vale outperforms rest of region as companies move in

Science Vale UK and Oxford are outperforming other locations in the Thames Valley for new businesses moving into the area according to an independent report.

Throughout last year and the first quarter of this year, Science Vale UK covering Culham, Milton Park and Harwell Campus, proved very popular for the life sciences and space technology sectors within Lambert Smith Hampton’s 2017 Thames Valley Office Market Report.

According to the report, take-up remained solid at 258,000 sq ft for both Science Vale and Oxford, of which 42,000 was at Milton Park and 14,000 was occupied at Harwell. Both of these sites are set to continue to attract more businesses by speculatively building new office and laboratory space. Immunocore, a world-leading T-cell receptor company, recently announced further expansion at Milton Park with an extra 53,000 sq ft.

Matt Barber, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Science Vale UK has the highest concentration of science research facilities and development activity in Western Europe and this report clearly demonstrates that organisations are excited to move here.

“Within the Science Vale UK region, are two enterprise zones. The zones offer discounted business rates and can help a qualifying organisation to save up to £55,000 a year in business rates for five years. This, along with fast-track planning approval, have been the important foundations of success for the whole region.”

There are many benefits to living and working in and around the Science Vale UK region. The business parks have a highly-skilled workforce, good transport links to Oxford, London and Heathrow and is situated on the edge of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Didcot Garden Town is the gateway to the Science Vale UK region and has proposals to improve cycle paths and roads from the town to the business parks. It also has renewable and sustainable energy options integrated into its plans.

The market report said that during the second quarter of this year, demand for new premises will continue and is “a testament to the robust investment in the knowledge economy of Oxford and South Oxfordshire”. This backs up the Science Vale UK and Didcot Garden Town predictions that 20,000 new jobs will be created in the next 20 years.