New £5m fund is earmarked for life science firms
ANEW £5m fund has been earmarked for science companies at Alderley Park’s Biohub.
Biohub, based at Alderley Park, was set up by AstraZeneca to provide a joint site for pharmaceutical and life science companies.
The money will be invested in amounts between £50,000 and £250,000 in life science firms specialising in areas such as drugs or medical devices.
The cash is from AstraZeneca, which has a base at the Hurdsfield and the Nether Alderley site.
AstraZeneca plans to move its Research and Development out of Alderley Park to Cambridge by 2016, leaving 700 to 1,000 staff on site. But it’s hoped the £5m will help secure the site’s future as a bioscience park and major employer, named Biohub.
Biohub has become home to more than 300 people across 80 businesses since it was set up a year and a half ago.
Ned Wakeman, director of Biohub, said: “This is a new fund which AstraZeneca has set up to support companies based at Alderley Park. It’s part of their legacy.
“Part of my job is to support new companies coming in and this fund will help towards that.
“We’ve set up network of entrepreneurs and scientists with some really senior AstraZeneca staff who want to give back to the site so the companies have access to some real experts.”
The money will be managed by BioCity, which specialises in developing life science businesses. Proceeds from investments will go back into the fund.
Clive Morris, AstraZeneca vice president, Research & Development, said: “AstraZeneca’s aim in contributing to the fund is to support the sustainable growth of the BioHub and the long term future of Alderley Park as a science for life park.”
The new fund follows £5m investments into the Alderley Park Investment Fund by Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), which bought the site in March 2014, AstraZeneca, and Cheshire East Council and £20m from the government through the Local Growth Fund.
MSP proposes investing £107m over 10 years at Alderley Park. AstraZeneca’s move to Cambridge is six months ahead of schedule so MSP needs to develop the site for new companies sooner than expected.
It could release some of the site for other development, including housing, to raise funds for the science park.
Cheshire East’s cabinet was due to meet this week to consider a new development framework document for approval to set out how the site should develop. It will be considered when determining planning applications for the site.
●● The Alderley Park site