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New owners celebrate bright future for Alderley Park

14 May 2014

The new owners of Alderley Park have today shared their vision for the future of AstraZeneca’s former R&D site

Chris Oglesby, Mene Pangalos and George Osborne

Manchester Science Parks (MSP) shareholders – including the University - were joined by local, regional and national business and community leaders at a celebratory launch event held today at the Cheshire site.

Manchester Science Parks, who with majority shareholder Bruntwood acquired the 400 acre site in March, revealed its ambition to maintain top quality bioscience as the cornerstone of its commercial strategy.

MSP praised the investment record of previous owners AstraZeneca, and set out how the state-of-the-art research facilities at the site will be adapted to a new business model, where a vibrant community of businesses would specialise in different aspects of the drug discovery chain, working in a campus environment to encourage collaboration and the sharing of risk.

MSP, which with property partner Bruntwood, has a long track record of creating inspiring places for business success, also shared its vision for the 400 acre site in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. The new owner emphasised the importance of putting people at the heart of the Park, and of creating a place of beauty which nurtures creativity and helps businesses balance the pressures of working life with the promotion of well-being, leisure, and pleasure.

Chris Oglesby, Bruntwood CEO and MSP Chairman, said: “Through our acquisition of Alderley Park, we have a unique opportunity to create a diverse innovative community of bioscience businesses which is internationally respected for the quality of its work and as a sustainable business model. With our partners and the community of exceptional scientists who choose to remain at the Park, we will build a flagship for a vibrant life sciences industry in the North of England.”

The vision for Alderley Park to remain at the forefront of bioscience innovation is supported by MSP’s public sector and academic partners, including The University of Manchester; Manchester Metropolitan University; Manchester, Salford and Cheshire East Councils and the Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. All partners are united in working together to develop a bioscience business cluster at the site that could establish Alderley Park as an internationally recognised centre of scientific excellence at the heart of the North West.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell said: “I am delighted to see the progress that has been made in ensuring the future of Alderley Park as a site of outstanding science. This has been achieved through excellent collaboration between the partners who are here today.”

Former owners of the site, AstraZeneca, will continue to have a long-term presence at Alderley Park, with over 700 employees retained on site, and will assist MSP in delivering its vision by supporting start-up and growing smaller life science businesses. AstraZeneca is committed to ensuring its legacy continues and has pledged a £5m contribution to the ‘Alderley Park Springboard Fund’ that will be used to support new businesses starting up at Alderley Park. MSP will also contribute £5m to the new Fund, and is optimistic that further contributions will ensure that it can play an important role in retaining and nurturing talent and enterprise at Alderley Park.

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President Innovative Medicines and Early Development, AstraZeneca, said: "As we handover ownership of Alderley Park, we can look back with pride on the important role the site has played in our success. We are delighted that our legacy of scientific innovation stretching back many decades will be built upon by Manchester Science Parks, helping ensure the UK remains a global leader in life sciences.”

The launch event provided an opportunity for attendees to gain an insight into the discussions around the exciting vision for the future of Alderley Park. Chaired by Chris Oglesby, Bruntwood CEO and MSP Chairman, the event brought together a high profile delegation of representatives from MSP, Bruntwood, The University of Manchester, Cheshire East Council and AstraZeneca, including the Right Honourable George Osborne MP as keynote speaker.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer and the local Member of Parliament for Tatton, Mr Osborne explained the Government’s commitment to Alderley Park and the importance of securing the future of the site. The new state-of-the-art science hub will form an integral part of an ambitious global Life Science Strategy for the UK, as well as act as a driver for a single health science strategy for the North West region and beyond.

At the launch event, Mr Obsorne presided over the handing over of Alderley Park from Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President Innovative Medicines and Early Development at AstraZeneca to Chris Oglesby, Bruntwood CEO and MSP Chairman. This symbolic event marks the start of the transformation of Alderley Park by its new owners, Manchester Science Parks.