Developing Daresbury as a National Science and Innovation Campus - Next Generation

Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus (Daresbury SIC) has entered a new and exciting phase with notification in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) of its intention to procure a private sector partner in a joint venture (Public Private Partnership) to develop the Campus over the next 30 years.

It is anticipated that the joint venture, between existing Campus partners; Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Halton Borough Council; and a private sector business or consortium, will be operational by May 2010, following a period of pre-qualification and selection of the preferred bidder by the public sector partners.

The notification sets out a unique, long-term opportunity for a private sector partner to develop up to 1 million square feet of space on the Campus for business, research and innovation, to provide facilities management and other services to the Campus and potentially realise commercial services and investment opportunities with the Campus companies.  It is expected that the private sector partner will be selected in early 2010, with the joint venture company in place and ready to move forward with the next stage of the development by May 2010.

One of two national Science and Innovation Campuses, Daresbury SICis a high profile development bringing together STFC, high-tech businesses, universities, research organisations and strategic industrial partners, along with the business support and investor community to create up to 10,000 new jobs.  The Campus is already home to almost 100 high-tech companies, based in the Daresbury Innovation Centre, in sectors including biomedical, digital/ICT/telecoms, advanced engineering/instrumentation and energy and environmental technologies.The majority of these companies are high-tech SMEs but also present are major international blue chip organisations such as IBM and SGI.

Professor Colin Whitehouse, Chair of the Joint Venture Executive Steering Group and Deputy Chief Executive of the STFC said: “This is an exciting time in the development of Daresbury SIC. The Campus has already demonstrated that it is leading the way in bringing together scientists, academics and the business community to share their knowledge and find innovative solutions to global challenges including energy, healthcare, security and the environment.

“The investment being made by the future joint venture partner in further developing Daresbury SIC will unlock the Campus’ full potential and strengthen its position, along with its sister Campus in Harwell, as a principal location for world-leading science and innovation.”