Discovery Park, the Life Sciences Opportunity Zone for ambitious and growing life sciences companies, has been awarded £2.5m towards accelerated delivery of its Incubator facility by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). The grant, which comes from SELEP’s £85m share of the Government’s new Getting Building Fund, will be used to create flexible laboratory, write-up and office space for innovative SMEs. Discovery Park’s investors are committing £3m to this development, which is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.
A masterplan has been created for the Incubator space and initial design works completed. The 50,000 sq ft of laboratory and write-up space will be created on two floors of the East Block of the Park’s Building 500. The new Incubator facility will be suitable for all types of start-ups and early stage companies, including drug discovery, cell and gene therapy, digital health, manufacturing and medtech firms. As the incubator companies develop they will be able to expand into the grow-on space available, playing an important role in the development of the innovation community at Discovery Park.
The Government’s new £900 million Getting Building Fund has been created to invest in local infrastructure projects to drive economic growth in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Discovery Park estimates that the Incubator project will lead to 250 jobs, with an additional 6251 created elsewhere in the economy.
Mayer Schreiber, CEO of Discovery Park, said, ‘The Getting Building Fund grant will accelerate the delivery of Discovery Park’s Incubator space, which will provide laboratories and offices for innovative life sciences companies in a collaborative environment. Rapid turnaround of this facility will enable us to meet the demand we are experiencing here for life sciences space. As a UK Life Sciences Opportunity Zone, we are pleased to play a role in driving local economic growth, and would like to thank SELEP for its support of our ambition to build a world class and world leading science park where companies can start up and grow. Discovery Park is also very appreciative of the support it has received from Dover District Council and Kent & Medway Economic Partnership.’