Work is to start on the next phase of converting offices at the Wood Centre for Innovation in Oxford to more laboratory space.

The Oxford Trust, a charity supporting the pursuit of science and enterprise, is addressing the demand for incubator space for start-up science businesses in the wake of Covid.

In May, the trust unveiled 5,500 sq ft of new R&D laboratory space at the centre which is in Headington.

Now, following the award of £200,000 from the Local Growth Fund, via OxLEP, a further 3,000 sq ft is to be converted. The project is due for completion in early 2022.

Steve Burgess, chief executive of The Oxford Trust, said: “It is thanks to OxLEP for securing a second tranche of national Government funding – alongside the trust’s significant own investment – that we have been able to accelerate lab provision at our Wood Centre for Innovation that will give early-stage companies the opportunities they need to achieve their potential.

“It is a real endorsement of what we do to have the first and second phases of our lab development supported by the Local Growth Fund.

“We can now offer a complete range of spaces in our two innovation centres, from virtual offices and co-working to Grade A office space and class II life science laboratory facilities, to support science and tech start-ups focused on R&D, such as DJS Antibodies and Samsara Therapeutics, on their journeys to success.”

Thames Tap partner Bulb laboratories, which carried out the initial conversion, has been contracted to oversee the development of phase two.

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