Manchester Science Partnerships celebrates another successful year

25th April 2016


Largest UK science and technology park operator posts rising profits and an exceptional year of growth.

Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) is celebrating an exceptional twelve months that has seen major successes at its Manchester and Alderley Park campuses, and a 72% increase in profit for its city centre business.

It has been an exciting year for the UK’s largest science and technology park operator. Customer demand has been strong in all science sectors, with full occupancy at Citylabs 1.0 within 15 months of opening, the central Manchester campus eagerly awaiting completion of its beautiful new “heart for the park” building – No1 MSP Central, and a strong pipeline of demand for space at Alderley Park.

A host of wins reinforce the increasingly important national role which the region is playing in the UK’s science industries – with five major national successes in the past year, of which three were in the life sciences sector. Innovate UK, the national innovation agency, selected Alderley Park as the centre for a new Medicines Discovery Catapult, which will work with businesses from across the UK to accelerate the development of new medicines.

Citylabs 1.0 will be a regional centre for another national Catapult, on Precision Medicine, this one designed to develop treatments which are tailored to the different characteristics of individual patients. In his March budget, the Chancellor announced that Alderley Park would be the home for a new national centre, dedicated to finding alternative treatments for diseases which have become resistant to existing antibiotics. MSP works closely with all of its businesses, and an understanding of the gaps in available funding in early growth stages led to the successful bid for £20m of local Growth Fund support.

In September, the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Science Investment Fund was launched in partnership with the local LEPs to provide over £50m in funding available to businesses located in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire region. Further direct support for science businesses is due to come from MSP and partners’ achievement this past year in securing Enterprise Zone status for both Manchester and Alderley Park campuses, a status which will provide important financial incentives for companies to generate additional high value jobs and economic growth.

A fifth major national win was the successful bid against 33 other cities for £10m of Innovate UK funding to create a large-scale Internet of Things (IOT) demonstrator within Manchester’s Innovation District. The IOT is a technology revolution with the potential to transform industries, governments, and cities.

The Manchester project, called CityVerve, will demonstrate the power of IoT technologies to revolutionise and improve city services across health and social care, transport and mobility, energy and environment, culture and the public realm. CityVerve will take advantage of the new integrated powers and responsibilities created by devolution in Manchester, and brings together an ambitious multi-sector consortium, including global industry partners, leading UK universities, public sector agencies and innovative SMEs.

MSP will provide the Project HQ at No 1 MSP Central, which will also be home to the CityVerve incubator and services support centre for businesses using the Demonstrator to develop innovative approaches to public service provision. MSP Chairman Chris Oglesby said: “MSP has had an excellent year, and we are delighted to have played a very full and effective part in growing the region’s science and technology industrial base. Science and technology businesses are driving our economic growth, bringing high value jobs and investment, and strengthening Manchester’s position as the economic engine of the Northern Powerhouse. “We are proud to offer the best facilities and support services to our customers, and our planned development of the MSP Central campus in tandem with our vision for Alderley Park will help to further drive investment and innovation”.

Rowena Burns, MSP Chief Executive, paid tribute to the support and vision of MSP’s shareholders through the year: “Through our partnerships with the NHS, industry and academia, we play a pivotal role in supporting the creation and growth of knowledge driven science and technology businesses. We were chosen as the location for three national science facilities in this year alone, reinforcing our determination that collectively as a region we can create an industry base here which is of global standing. Such facilities will support our ambition to attract additional foreign direct investment, while the direct funding support from the Investment Fund and Enterprise Zones will help our existing businesses to continue their growth.

“This is exciting and hugely rewarding work – and MSP is privileged to provide a unique support structure which will help bring great ideas to life, businesses to succeed and innovation to flourish.”