Vast West Midlands laboratory poised to propel UK life sciences

The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory, a state-of-the-art, fully fitted CL2 lab facility in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, has come to market, with global real estate advisor, Avison Young, promoting it as an ‘unmissable opportunity’ for the UK life sciences sector. 

Worth over £94 billion to the UK economy, the life sciences sector is well established nationally and growing regionally, with over 600 healthcare and life sciences businesses based in the West Midlands alone – making the region investment-ready for startups and established businesses in research and clinical settings. 

Set within the Warwick Innovation District, a vast research and innovation ecosystem which spans from the University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire to Wellesbourne, and the wider West Midlands medtech supply chain including Midlands Medilink, the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory is well situated and suitable for a range of occupiers – from startups and scaleups through to large-scale operators.

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Its arrival to the market presents a unique opportunity for life sciences occupiers or operators to repurpose the building, which formerly acted as a PCR testing facility during the Covid-19 pandemic, making use of its world-class laboratory space and secure, self-contained facilities. The lab has the potential to become a new hub for pioneering R&D, supporting the transition of incubated proven science into larger scale operations through collaboration between government, industry, and academia. 

With nine fully fitted lab lines, the building is also home to a central, 23,940 sq. ft ‘opportunity space’ between lines 4 and 5. This versatile space could be used to add a further three lab lines or one larger lab space, with the potential to provide a bespoke CL3 facility. 

The nine lab lines are designed to enable end-to-end workflows and typically contain four separate, interconnected laboratories with access from either personnel or waste corridors. Each line benefits from amenities, including private office/write-up spaces which could be converted into additional smaller lab spaces, if desired. 

The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory is provided with breakout/welfare areas and seating, locker rooms and showers, office space and a logistics area. Externally, the development benefits from on-site parking, EV charging facilities, a waste compound, loading docks, and a secure gatehouse entrance. 

Now available for commercial lease, the state-of-the-art facility is well-appointed for both small and large businesses operating in the life sciences sector, and is suitable for one or more occupiers, dependent on need. 

Jonathan Lowe, director at Avison Young UK, commented: “The West Midlands is home to a burgeoning life sciences ecosystem and the arrival of this facility to market presents an unmissable opportunity for the right business or operator. 

“From extensive CL2 laboratory, office and logistics space to the site’s desirable, central location and proximity to Oxford, Cambridge and London, the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory is a one-of-a-kind development, equipped with the facilities to undertake critical R&D, diagnostic testing, precision medicine and high throughput testing. 

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“Identifying the right occupier who can utilise these facilities also has the potential to add considerable value to the economy in the West Midlands, putting the region on the map nationally and internationally as a leading destination for healthcare and scientific innovation.” 

Cllr Martin Watson, Portfolio Holder for Economy at Warwickshire County Council, added: “The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory was a vital piece of national infrastructure attracted to Leamington Spa by the quality of the local labour market and the excellent space that the facility provides. 

“Potential occupiers of the laboratory can access a highly supportive and collaborative environment, including local and regional support around skills and access to finance grants and loans, such as the Warwickshire Recovery & Investment Fund, and a leading cluster of research universities, medical schools and major hospitals across Coventry & Warwickshire, the Midlands and Oxfordshire. 

“The medtech sector is a growing local sector and a significant supply chain in the wider West Midlands. Local partners here would welcome the opportunity to support new occupiers to set up and scale up on site”. 

The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory is being marketed to life sciences occupiers and operators by Avison Young UK. 

To find out more about this opportunity for businesses in the UK life sciences sector, please contact Jonathan Lowe at Avison Young UK at [email protected]

 

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