Research by Bidwells shows science and tech businesses made up 86 per cent of take up in Cambridge in 2023, five per cent up on 2022.

Its Arc Market Databook found there were five lettings of 20,000 sq ft or more in a total lab space take-up of 272,000 sq ft, the biggest to a major pharmaceutical company on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (pictured).

Thanks to some significant delivery of new labs in the second half of 2023, the level of take-up was nearly three times more than in 2022, when lack of supply constrained the market.

Despite the new space, there remains an 850,000 sq ft shortfall in Cambridge, such is the demand. Subsequent pressures caused rents to rise 22 per cent in 2023.

Demand for office space has been similarly resilient because of demand from science and technology companies. Take-up hit 420,00 sq ft in 2023, which was in line with 2022 activity.

Some of the demand was driven by Cambridge-based tech occupiers and start-ups taking space in serviced offices. Nyobolt and Samsung were among the sector’s key lettings in the city.

Office quality and location were the top drivers for occupiers who showed an increased focus on the retention and recruitment of staff. The availability of office space rose to 12.2 per cent by the end of the year but that figure is largely made up of lesser quality, dated properties, with much of the better-quality space currently under offer.

Max Bryan, head of office and lab agency, at Bidwells, said: “The data demonstrates the strength of science and tech demand for space in Cambridge despite continue economic uncertainty and finance constraints.

“The rapid absorption of well-located laboratory space as it has come to the market this year underlines the potential opportunity presented by Cambridge.

“The UK Government should capitalise on the demand for such facilities and ensure that two of the country’s highest potential business sectors can be accommodated by streamlining a planning system that has been inherently obstructive towards development.”

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