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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Tamlyn Jones

£14m grant to support development of new Birmingham life sciences campus

A new £210 million life sciences campus to be built in Birmingham has secured a fresh injection of funding.

Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has granted £14 million to support the development of Birmingham Health Innovation Campus in Selly Oak.

University of Birmingham is leading the scheme with commercial property firm Bruntwood SciTech after the pair announced a new partnership in October.

The project, which was previously known as Birmingham Life Sciences Park, is set to contain up to 657,000 sq ft of lab, office and incubation space which will provide co-location opportunities for all stages of health and life science businesses.

It is expected to attract significant investment and accelerate the development and deployment of new drugs, diagnostics and healthcare technologies to patients.

In 2017, the university agreed a deal for ten acres of land off the Battery Park site in Selly Oak where a new retail park opened two years ago.

Phase one will have a seven-storey, 133,000 sq ft building which will offer lab and office space to companies specialising in medtech, precision medicine and digital healthcare.

The building will also be home to a new innovation centre called Precision Health Technologies Accelerator which is the focus of the investment from GBSLEP.

Its aim is to attract and support businesses from start-ups and SMEs to established enterprises to the city, with the GBSLEP cash supporting the design and fit out of the facilities such as incubation suites, labs, offices and training facilities.

Precision Health Technologies Accelerator will also be home to Birmingham Precision Medicine Centre which will bring together leading diagnostic and clinical trials capabilities to support the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics.

Separately, a hybrid planning application has been lodged with Birmingham City Council for detailed consent of this first phase building alongside a masterplan for the development of the wider site over the next ten years.

Construction is expected to create around 500 new jobs when it begins next year, with a further 500 new roles in life sciences and support jobs when phase one completes in 2023.

Overall, it is estimated the campus will support up to 10,000 new jobs for the regional economy and contribute an additional £400 million GVA by 2030.

GBSLEP chairman Tim Pile said: "The accelerator has enormous potential to drive healthcare innovation and the development of new health technologies which represent a huge growth opportunity for our region.

"This has obviously been brought into even sharper focus this year with the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.

"Investment in sites like Birmingham Health Innovation Campus will be essential to achieving the economic growth needed for a sustainable recovery and fostering cross sectoral collaboration."

University of Birmingham vice-principal Tim Jones added: "The campus is a catalyst for the region's health and life sciences industry and a growing, vibrant cluster.

"GBSLEP's support and investment will be instrumental in enabling us to develop the core accelerator infrastructure which will facilitate the two specialist centres of excellence within."

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