The UK’s largest property platform dedicated to driving the growth of the UK science and technology sector has announced its maiden financial results; reporting healthy profits, a strong development pipeline against a backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty and an expansion of its thriving network of innovation districts.
Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 joint venture between investment group Legal & General and leading property company Bruntwood, was formed in October 2018. Over the past 12 months, the company has committed investment of more than £84 million in new developments across it’s portfolio.
In making good on its commitment to unlock latent innovation-driven economic potential in other regional cities, Bruntwood SciTech also announced plans to extend its innovation district network to Liverpool. In July it was appointed preferred bidder to acquire a 25% shareholding in Sciontec Liverpool, alongside existing partners Liverpool City Council, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.
First-year results for Bruntwood Science Group Limited - Bruntwood SciTech’s holding company – reported pre-tax profits of £10.1m and net assets of £240.6m. The value of its property portfolio increased from £328.9m to £438.2m, as a result of 12 months of significant development progress at Circle Square, the Citylabs campus and Alderley Park.
New developments totalling around 550,000 sq ft were announced in the year, taking the total amount of space under development to 1.1m sq. ft. This included the announcement of the development of Citylabs 4.0, a £35 million, 125,000 sq ft. addition to the Citylabs genomics and precision medicine campus on Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor.
At Manchester Science Park, the company has moved forward with plans to re-develop and expand Base into a £21m, 80,000 sq ft hub for companies working in materials science, engineering and energy technology.
At Circle Square, the new neighbourhood taking shape at the heart of Manchester’s innovation district, Bruntwood SciTech announced plans to bring forward the development of No.3 Circle Square: a £54m, 220,000 sq ft, 15-storey commercial building. The move follows strong pre-let interest from businesses looking to join the company’s sector-specialist community of over 500 science and technology startups, scaleups and global corporates. Tech giant Hewlett Packard Enterprises announced it has chosen Circle Square for its headquarters in the city, while Big Four accountancy firm KPMG has relocated its national innovation hub to the Manchester Technology Centre, alongside 30 of the region’s most disruptive entrepreneurs and startups.
In the West Midlands, the company announced plans to expand its Innovation Birmingham campus with the development of Enterprise Wharf: a 120,000 sq ft 11-storey commercial building aimed at the city’s growing digital and technology businesses.
Commenting on the successful first year, Phil Kemp, CEO - Bruntwood SciTech said: “To have grown the value of our portfolio by a third and doubled our development pipeline in a year of macroeconomic headwinds is testament to our strong sector-focussed business model and partnership approach and shows the strength of the UK’s science and technology sector.
“It’s strong progress against our vision to grow our overall portfolio to £1.8bn over the next decade, supporting the creation of over 20,000 high value jobs. We’re looking forward to working with new partners in Liverpool, and are also in close conversations with other core cities, Russell Group universities and NHS Trusts.
He continued: “Bruntwood and Legal & General as long-term investors both have successful track records of catalysing urban renewal across the country. By combining a 15-year blueprint of how to effectively curate thriving sci-tech focused partnerships between public, industry, academic and clinical partners, with the financial backing and network of one of the UK’s most established regeneration-focused investors, Bruntwood SciTech is well-placed to grow at pace and scale in 2020 and beyond.”