Santander pumps £110m into tech research hub

Santander has invested £110 million in the expansion of a scientific research hub at Harwell Campus.

The open access scientific facility in Oxfordshire is planning to begin work on a 400,000 square foot extension - in a development equivalent to the size of Wembley stadium - to provide scientific facilities and office spaces for private, public and academic organisations.

Such is the demand for research and development space at the £2 billion facility, that management expect the University cities of Oxford and Cambridge to need 2.5 million square foot of extra space to accommodate growth in the coming years, with Harwell expected to provide a significant portion.

The campus has expanded to cover more than five million square foot of planned development, with Santander providing funding to assist more than 1 million square foot in less than eight years.

The campus hosts multinational and start-up stage companies with more than 5,000 researcher and employees focussing on the core sectors of life sciences, energy and space technology.

Angus Horner, director of Harwell Campus, said, “Harwell is on a mission to stimulate innovation in the science and tech industries, drive economic growth in the UK and boost our place in the global market – with a combination of private companies, startups, investors, government organisations, and academics all in one place, it is environment with unique opportunities for collaboration.”

Commenting on Santander’s funding, William Cooper, partner in the joint venture at Harwell Campus, explained that this round of funding enables the expansion of hybrid building plans. “Having Santander alongside us puts Harwell in a strong position for continued growth in order to meet the pent-up demand for 2.5 million sq ft of research labs in Oxbridge alone.”

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