Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst – Developer named for campus expansion

  • Further plans for Stevenage campus expansion shared
  • Developer partners announced as Reef Group and UBS Asset Management
  • GSK to gift land to SBC to enable expansion

STEVENAGE 4th July: Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) is based on the life science campus in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Details of plans to expand the campus were shared today.

The new campus, which will be one of the largest of its kind in the UK and Europe, will be built alongside SBC and its 40+ occupier companies, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and GSK’s existing Global R&D centre. UBS Asset Management and Reef are expected to deliver up to £900m of new investment alongside an estimated 1.4 million square feet of laboratory and office facilities, providing space for up to 5,000 new jobs.

UBS Asset Management and Reef are experienced life science investors and developers already delivering major life science development projects across the world with a Gross Development Value in excess of £5 billion. They will begin construction of the new campus in 2023 and – subject to planning permission – intend to open some elements of the site for business by 2025. The vision for the new section of the campus was developed in partnership with GSK, SBC, the UK Government, Stevenage Borough Council and the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

UBS and Reef are set to purchase 33 acres of land from GSK to develop the new campus. As part of this, GSK will gift land on the new campus to SBC to enable its expansion. To support this expansion, GSK and the Wellcome Trust have also agreed to waive a loan which they made to SBC in 2012.[1] 

Dr Sally Ann Forsyth OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said, “We welcome GSK’s land donation and the waiver of the original loan from GSK and the Wellcome Trust which supported the initial establishment and operations of SBC. These grants can now be used for the development of innovation facilities and related activities that enhance SBC’s offering as part of the new Campus development. The Stevenage campus is already a leading location for life science companies to develop and commercialise cutting edge therapeutics. It is a unique location that brings together major multinationals, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst’s 40+ biotech companies. This makes it a powerhouse for innovation and we are looking forward to working with Reef Group and other stakeholders to further develop the thriving life sciences campus in Stevenage.”

Tony Wood, Chief Scientific Officer Designate, GSK said: “We are delighted by the news that UBS Asset Management and Reef are to develop this exciting new campus, which will be built next to our UK R&D hub in Stevenage. The campus will add much-needed laboratory space and facilities for new companies to locate here, and further strengthen the UK life science ecosystem.  GSK invests around £1bn a year into R&D in the UK and continuing to expand our extensive network of collaborations is critical to our future success.” 

Piers Slater, Joint Chief Executive, Reef Group said: “Stevenage is set to be transformed into one of the UK’s most dynamic life sciences hubs, forming an integral part of the eco-system of the Golden Triangle. We are excited to be working with GSK and UBS to deliver a unique and world-leading development that will be an incredible catalyst for innovation in life sciences R&D. Our vision is to bring together the best of academia and industry in a diverse and world-class mix of life sciences spaces, with digital infrastructure, sustainability and connectivity at their core.”

About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is a world-leading science park of global significance and located at the centre of the largest cluster of cell and gene therapy companies in Europe. It provides a supportive environment to help companies grow by providing access to specialist equipment, mentoring and finance suited to their stage of development.  Since its opening in 2012, occupier companies have secured £2.9bn in finance making the cluster one of the most attractive for investment in biotechnology in the UK.


Sue Thaw, Marketing and Communications Manager at SBC /

[1] Wellcome is a charity that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. SBC is a non-profit company with a vision of accelerating the translation of cutting-edge science to improve the health and quality of people’s lives. Wellcome’s waiver of its £1.6m loan to SBC will enable the company to expand its support for life sciences start-ups to bring their discoveries into use and thereby improve human health. Wellcome is a founding member of SBC. Helping to stimulate translational research is one of many ways Wellcome supports the life sciences research ecosystem in the UK and around the world.