Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) has hailed a “year of strong progress” with levels of investment and growth reflecting strong demand from new and existing customers.
Against a backdrop of technological change and uncertainty in the wider economy, the 12 months to the end of September 2018 saw a 35% increase in the consolidated net worth of MSP and its subsidiaries from £58.3m to £78.9m.
MSP’s city centre campuses - Manchester Science Park and Citylabs which are in the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, offer lab and office space for digital tech and life science businesses together with specialist programmes of business support, including a post-accelerator innovation centre - Mi-IDEA in partnership with Cisco.
Combined, the Oxford Road Corridor campuses tripled profits from £4.7m (2017) to £17.2m as occupancy levels increased and property valuations rose. The year also saw MSP launch a Tech Incubator at Manchester Technology Centre, designed for entrepreneurs and SMEs working in data science and technology innovation.
At Alderley Park, profits increased from £7.5m to £19.4m during the year, which also saw the announcement of £10m of investment in the development of new laboratories for smaller life science businesses and significant progress being made with the development of Glasshouse offering over 150,000 sq ft of offices for tech and forward-thinking, innovative businesses.
The period also saw the creation of Bruntwood SciTech - the UK’s largest property portfolio dedicated to driving the growth of the science and technology sector - in a landmark equity deal between MSP majority shareholder Bruntwood and Legal & General. Bruntwood SciTech announced pre-tax profits of £53m together with shareholders’ funds of £234m. Bruntwood SciTech has plans to grow the value of its portfolio from over £330m to in excess of £2bn in the next 10 years.
Tom Renn, Managing Director, MSP said: “Against a backdrop of significant uncertainty in the wider economy, in particular for those working in the science sector, we are heartened by the extraordinary resilience of our customers and of the science community in the UK, who have continued to successfully raise investment and grow their businesses at pace both within our portfolio and across Greater Manchester.
“Construction of Citylabs 2.0 for QIAGEN, a world leading international molecular diagnostics company, who have taken a 100% pre-let, is a hallmark of that success and reinforces the quality of the Greater Manchester offer, partnerships and assets. Citylabs will be at the heart of a new globally-leading genomics and precision medicine campus which will create over 1,500 high value jobs and add over £150m to the Greater Manchester economy, and importantly benefit the 2.8 million people living here as new tests and treatments emerge.”
2019 will see continued growth; the next stage of the Manchester Science Park campus masterplan will get underway with additional development as part of plans to grow to 1million sq ft, the construction of Citylabs 2.0 will progress, and Glasshouse and new laboratories will complete at Alderley Park.