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16 November, 2023 - 19:43 By News Desk

Gen Two gets green light for 125,000 sq ft Cambridge life sciences facility

Gen Two, a family-run life sciences developer and investor, has received a resolution to grant planning permission for the development of a new 125,000 sq ft next generation life sciences hub in Cambridge.

Following a unanimous consent decision by South Cambridge District Council, Gen Two is aiming to start building at ‘Alchemy’ – a 5.2 acre former brownfield site in Fowlmere – in the first half of 2024, with a view to delivering specialist life sciences R&D facilities in 2025.

Retaining and reusing two of the five existing two-storey structures to minimise the embodied carbon impact, Gen Two will create flexible and adaptable ‘BREEAM Excellent’ laboratories and offices to support the increasing demand for world-class R & D space from the Cambridge southern science cluster.

Gen Two will create eight self-contained laboratory suites ranging in size from 10,000 sq ft-20,000 sq ft which can be combined to provide larger headquarter facilities.

With upgraded power to the site secured, the accommodation has been designed to target primarily biotech occupiers and scale-up companies focused on the full spectrum of R & D: from biology, to chemistry and Good Manufacturing Practices.

Being well located in the Cambridge southern life science and biotech cluster, Alchemy will provide direct access to local transport hubs such as Foxton and Whittlesford train stations via a shuttle bus as part of a comprehensive travel plan.

According to property consultancy Bidwells and underlining the strength of demand in the Cambridge life sciences cluster, at the end of H1 2023 a third of office and lab floorspace requirements in Cambridge were from businesses that originated in the city. Furthermore, 74 per cent of lab space needs come from companies with an existing Cambridge base that were seeking to expand.

Ariel Levy, co-founder of Gen Two, said: “In the Cambridge life sciences ecosystem there is unquestionably a need for additional fit for purpose and adaptable R & D scale-up space, which we are proud to have secured planning consent for.

“As a team we’ve seen strong support from the local community for our new science and innovation campus. We’ve been through a detailed planning process, engaging early on with key local stakeholders, who have helped shape the project’s design through parish meetings, public consultation and an interactive youth engagement programme run in partnership with Greater Cambridge Shared Planning.”

Daniel Sterling, co-founder of Gen Two, added: “We’ve spent the past few years assembling an experienced team of experts with a vision to build an institutional grade portfolio of life sciences real estate assets in Cambridge, Oxford and Leeds.

“As we look to grow our portfolio in these places and bring forward our existing pipeline, we are extremely encouraged by the number of meaningful conversations we are having with best-in-class capital partners, who also see the highly supportive long-term fundamentals for high quality and flexible life sciences spaces.

“We’re focused on delivering world-class laboratories and workspace for our country’s brightest biotech businesses, a number of which we are in discussions with. 

“Alchemy’s planning approval from South Cambridge District Council is a strong endorsement in our product and development approach, and we’re looking forward to delivering the project in the next two years.”

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