The development of Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (formerly known as Birmingham Life Sciences Park) has taken a major step forward today, with the announcement of a new long-term partnership between the University of Birmingham and the UK’s leading property provider for the science and technology sector, Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General.
A £210m, 10-year masterplan will be developed for the Campus, which will provide up to 657,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art lab, office and incubation space acting as a catalyst for the growth of the Midlands’ life sciences sector. It is set to create up to 10,000 new jobs and contribute £400m GVA to the regional economy by 2030.
The Campus was recently awarded Life Science Opportunity Zone status by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and has been awarded development funding from Birmingham City Council and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. It sits at the heart of an important cluster of health excellence led by Birmingham Health Partners (BHP), a strategic alliance between the University of Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
The first phase of the development includes a new 133,000 sq ft purpose-built, six-storey building which will be home to BHP’s Precision Health Technologies Accelerator (PHTA), providing incubation space, cleanrooms, prototyping and makerspace as well as the Birmingham Precision Medicine Centre and Healthcare Technologies Innovation Hub. It will also be a hub for businesses working in medtech, biopharma, precision medicine, healthcare AI, and genomics, with the opportunity to access a fully connected clinical trials translation ecosystem and collaborate with academia and clinicians for commercialising and rapid translation into the healthcare system. This will in turn accelerate the development and deployment of new drugs, diagnostics and healthcare technologies to patients and provide a pathway for innovation challenges in the NHS to be met at scale.
Dr David Hardman, Managing Director, Bruntwood SciTech- Birmingham, said: “This is a huge opportunity for the UK’s life science sector. By creating an environment that will not only help businesses to form, scale, collaborate and grow, we will establish a new thriving life sciences hub, which will create much needed capacity for the West Midlands and help to attract further international investment to the region and beyond.
“Working alongside Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham Health Innovation Campus will help to align academic, NHS and industry capabilities. It will also provide additional much-needed world class facilities for pioneering healthcare businesses and will bolster the UK’s position as a life sciences leader on the global stage.”
Professor Tim Jones, University of Birmingham Provost and Vice-Principal, explained: “With access to Birmingham’s world-class genomics laboratories, health data programmes, healthcare technology development teams, clinical trials leadership and academic expertise, Birmingham Health Innovation Campus will become the ideal place for innovative health and life sciences businesses to thrive.
“This ambitious new development will leverage the expertise of the existing Birmingham Health Partners ecosystem to drive innovation and economic growth – all centred on a shared mission to transform the health of all citizens, in Birmingham and beyond, by accelerating the development and adoption of healthcare innovations.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Life sciences is an incredibly exciting and important sector that we have been quietly growing in the West Midlands over the last few years. Now with today’s announcement we are cementing our ambition to be one of the global leaders in this sector.
“The timing of this announcement, given the clear current economic challenges, is also critical. By acting as a catalyst for investment, the campus will help to create a significant number of high-quality, well-paid, local jobs for local people.
“Today’s announcement is momentous for the West Midlands. I applaud Birmingham Health Partners and welcome Bruntwood SciTech, and I am pleased to have played my part in making it happen.”
Eleanor Jukes, Senior Investment Manager, Legal & General - Future Cities, said: “The Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, once completed, will provide world-leading office and lab facilities which will not only boost economic growth and job opportunities in the region, but also aid the development of potentially life-saving treatments and technologies. Over the next ten years this landmark scheme will unlock over 10,000 new jobs and contribute around £400m to the local region, acting as a major catalyst for economic recovery in the wake of Covid-19.”
Work will begin on an extensive public consultation in the coming months, with the first phase currently set to complete in 2023.