Unlocking Innovation: The Future of Life Sciences Architecture in the East Midlands and Beyond

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23 May 2024

The East Midlands boasts a burgeoning life sciences sector, with Nottingham leading the charge. Over the past five years, with over 10,000 people in Nottingham employed in this sector, the region has witnessed a remarkable 35% increase in employment, signalling a promising trajectory for innovation and growth (source: Invest in Nottingham). At CPMG, we stand at the forefront of this evolution, redefining traditional notions of life science architecture and pioneering new paradigms that foster innovation and collaboration.

Gone are the days when life science buildings were secluded structures tucked away in serene parklands behind high security fences. Today, occupiers in this sector are increasingly recognising the importance of location and neighbouring synergies in driving innovation and maintaining competitive edges. Urban clusters, such as BioCity in Nottingham and the adjacent 36 acres of the Island Quarter, are emerging as hotbeds of creativity and collaboration, where life sciences and tech occupiers converge to catalyse breakthroughs.

Sygnature Discovery continues to go from strength to strength, attracting investment and expanding into the North American market through the recent acquisition of Nuchem. Meanwhile, Conygar, the masterminds behind the development of the Island Quarter, have enlisted CPMG to design 245,000 sq ft of premium, adaptable research and laboratory facilities. Spanning two interconnected buildings with a glazed link at upper levels, the project, which has secured detailed planning approval, will offer a blend of laboratory, office, and meeting spaces. Notably, the design incorporates innovative features such as rainwater gardens and medicinal planting, alongside an ecology-focused street that seamlessly integrates the latest phase with the surrounding Island Quarter and city centre.

However, the vibrancy of the East Midlands extends beyond the confines of the Island Quarter. CPMG's footprint in the region encompasses leading the design for a prominent Science and Innovation Campus, with a special emphasis on the biopharmaceutical sector. Our diverse portfolio includes collaborations with industry frontrunners like drug development company Quotient Sciences in Ruddington, albumin-focused biotechnology firm Albumedix in Nottingham, and Alliance Boots in Beeston. Our contributions to projects such as the 35,000 sqft Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building at Nottingham Science Park highlight our dedication to advancing the life sciences arena. Through these varied initiatives, a consistent theme emerges: the critical importance for successful life sciences ventures to attract top-tier talent from the available pool.

Drawing on our experience in designing award-winning, well-being-focused office buildings such as the BCO award-winning British Sugar HQ in Peterborough and our very own award-winning CPMG HQ, we prioritise employee wellness, sustainability, and connectivity in our environments. By incorporating ample social spaces, access to greenery, and sustainable features, we transform buildings into talent magnets for young professionals in the tech and life sciences sectors.

Nottingham's robust educational ecosystem, bolstered by 75,000 students, serves as a rich talent pool for companies seeking to innovate and grow. For CPMG, collaborations with universities further amplify our impact in the life sciences sector, with projects like the ChELSi and Richard Roberts Buildings at the University of Sheffield.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of life sciences architecture, one thing remains clear: the future is defined by collaboration, innovation, and purposeful design. At CPMG, we're committed to leading this charge, shaping environments that inspire breakthroughs, attract talent, and drive progress in the East Midlands and beyond. Join us as we redefine the boundaries of possibility and unlock the full potential of life sciences innovation.

Stats Source: Invest in Nottingham

The future is defined by collaboration, innovation, and purposeful design