Dan Pagella, senior director at the ARC Group, spoke at the recent London West Big Prop Social, held in the Oxford and Cambridge Suite at the Brentford Gtech Community Stadium, and talked about Life Sciences in the Golden Triangle and revealed many jaw-dropping statistics about this growing sector of the property market.

ARC, Advance Research Clusters, focuses on the Life Science’s market located in Uxbridge, Hammersmith, Oxford and its base at Harwell Campus. Now owned by the Canadian investment company Brookfield, ARC has big ambitions to grow from its UK base into new markets.

Some of Dan’s headline statistics mentioned during his presentation:

  • Life Science covers 43 different sciences
  • UK government recently announced £650m war chest for life sciences
  • £94bn Industry employing 280,000 people
  • 85 per cent are small and medium-sized companies
  • £1.9bn inward foreign investment in 20/21
  • £4.5bn capital raised for early-stage companies
  • London has 0.5m sq ft of lab space
  • Oxford has 1.5m sq ft of lab space
  • Cambridge has 4m sq ft of lab space
  • Boston (US) has 60m sq ft of lab space
  • The UK has a 6m sq ft pipeline of lab space
    • In Pre-planning, 37 per cent
    • With planning consent, 15 per cent
    • In construction, three per cent

The demand for the right kind of space has never been higher between West London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Matthew Battle, managing director of UK Property Forums and moderator for the event, asked, “Why here, why now and what’s driving it?”

Dan responded by setting the three points that lay behind the clustering include Academia, Business (Finance) and Clinical Space (Hospitals). “They are looking for intelligent people and expensive equipment”, which can only be found in universities.

Andy Janson, managing director, Jansons Property asked: “What kind of space are they looking for?” Dan replied, stating that there was no easy answer, and it can range from dry labs to complicated clean rooms.

West London plays a critical role in this sector, with Imperial College, one of the leading universities in the sector, along with Oxford and Cambridge. Other universities in West London also have significant research establishments, such as Brunel, Kingston and West London University.

Delegates were left with the strong impression that the Life Sciences market is here to stay as an asset class and the Golden Triangle region is at the centre of this development cycle.   


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