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7 November, 2018 - 18:48 By Tony Quested

St John’s College and partners planning new wave of expansion

Like ace mountaineers looking for the next peak to climb before they have even conquered their latest challenge, St John’s College and its development partner Turnstone Estates and property adviser Savills – are already planning the next wave of expansion at St John’s Innovation Park in Cambridge.

The monumental success seen at the iconic Maurice Wilkes Building, which was completed in June barring minimal landscaping and individual tenants’ personalised fit-outs, will eventually lead to Wilkes II, Turnstone and Savills conceded.

Rob Sadler, head of Savills in Cambridge, said: “St John’s is continuously reviewing the long term masterplan for the park and the surrounding areas and there is clearly scope  for more buildings, including another high quality development that mirrors the Maurice Wilkes Building.

“There is potential for refurbishment of existing buildings and provision of new ones as well as sensitive landscaping around new developments. 

“Over the next 20 years there seems certain to be more dense development of the park as a whole to meet demand from a fast-growing Cambridge science & technology cluster.“ 

Confidence has been drawn by the unprecedented success of the Maurice Wilkes building. Thoroughbreds taking residence at Wilkes are currently racing across the finishing line to move staff in well head of Christmas. Only some minor snagging work remains.

Cyber security world leader Darktrace was first to recognise the potential of the space and has proved an inspirational lead tenant. All the while clinching new global contracts with a broadening spread of clients and industries, Darktrace has occupied 19,640 sq ft on the third and fourth floors in addition to 7,439 sq ft on the ground floor.

International accountant and business adviser PwC was next in, taking 12,149 sq ft on the second floor – leaving only 3,955 sq ft there which is currently being marketed by Savills with great success.

IP specialist Mewburn Ellis was next on board, taking 6,949 sq ft in the West Wing of the ground floor. 

Then came a morale-boosting double letting as micro computer pioneer Raspberry Pi took 7,648 sq ft of space in a new West Side story on the first floor while Automaton Games claimed the neighbouring 7,874 sq ft.

As Sadler points out: “The vision has always been to create an holistic development where companies can incubate and scale into bigger space within the park boundaries. This is already happening but the long-term vision is to make this scale-up model a winning formula for bigger and bigger companies as they expand internationally.

“We want to provide the business space, the environment and the infrastructure which enables companies to grow here from embryonic enterprises to internationally acclaimed players without ever having to even contemplate moving off the park to achieve their ambitions.”

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