£1.2m investment to reinforce Stevenage Campus as world class cell and gene therapy hub

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is to invest £1.2m into Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) to help grow a world-class cell and gene therapy cluster. 

The £1.2m Local Growth Fund investment will provide much-needed temporary accommodation for growing cell and gene therapy companies, strengthening the UK’s sectorial advantage and Hertfordshire’s position within the Oxford-London-Cambridge golden research triangle. 

SBC is a world-leading science park of global significance and home to the largest cluster of cell and gene therapy companies in Europe. Since its opening in 2012, it has attracted over 40 high-profile occupier businesses and world-class research organisations to Stevenage. 

This includes the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre which already supports five companies developing their manufacturing at scale and is currently undergoing expansion to help support up to 12 cell and gene therapy companies.

With both SBC and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s first large scale manufacturing centre on the campus, companies can benefit from close proximity to manufacturing, development and research. This unique co-location has been a key driver of growth in this exciting and emerging treatment area.  

Occupiers of the SBC campus have raised almost £1bn of investment, of which around 60% has been invested into cell and gene therapy companies. Now several of these companies are wanting to expand their premises at SBC.  

To help meet this demand, Hertfordshire LEP has granted £1.2m capital contribution to the development of the new “Spark Building”. This will provide interim lab and office accommodation whilst more permanent accommodation is developed nearby. The Spark Building, due for completion by the end of 2019, will be co-located with the SBC Incubator, Accelerator and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre. 

Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, Chief Executive Officer at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, commented: “We are delighted to receive the investment and continued support from Hertfordshire LEP. This ensures that we support the growth of our occupiers and continue to build on our position as Europe’s hub for cell and gene therapy. 

Paul Witcombe, Head of Enterprise and Innovation, Hertfordshire LEP, commented: “Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst has made a huge contribution to the rapid clustering of world-class corporate and academic research excellence on the GSK campus at Stevenage. To date, we have already approved up to £12m from the Local Growth Fund to develop essential infrastructure to support scientific research and we anticipate further opportunities to support the cluster.”


Notes to the Editor

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

SBC was established in 2012 with £38m funding from GSK, Wellcome and Innovate UK.  SBC is building a globally recognised cluster for therapeutics that provides support for translation and commercialisation of innovative new medicines. One of the key areas of focus on the campus is cell and gene therapy technologies and the campus is home to the largest cluster within Europe.

Contact: Claire Thompson on behalf of SBC claire.thompson@agilityhealthtech.com / +44 (0)7885 591 187 / www.stevenagecatalyst.com  

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership

LEPs are partnerships between local authorities and businesses and play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive growth and the creation of local jobs. We are managing over £309m of UK and overseeing the investment of EU public funds to support our people, places and businesses. Through our programmes and projects we are delivering on our Strategic Economic Plan priorities and enabling our key global sectors to flourish. Find out more about how we are growing Hertfordshire’s economy: www.hertfordshirelep.com

Contact:  Lucy Gravatt, Head of Communications

lucy.gravatt@hertfordshirelep.co.uk  ; Tel: 03030 505119

Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders. 

Some additional key facts:

There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England.

The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.

LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.