Dr Glenn Crocker, CEO of BioCity, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University Edward Peck, Simon Hirst CEO of Sygnature Discovery, Sir John Peace Chair of MIdlands Engine, Dr Louis Nisbet Chairman of BioCity Nottingham, Toby Reid Managing Director of BioCity Group

BioCity’s new £30 million Discovery Building, providing 50,000 ft2 of high-tech biology and chemistry laboratories, has opened in Nottingham.

The building is expected to support more than 700 new bioscience roles in Nottingham during the next 30 years, cementing the city’s position as the UK’s fastest growing life sciences community. The high-tech biology and chemistry laboratories and office space is split across five-storeys, with ancillary space for commercial leasing for both start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Addressing the assembled guests at an evening event to open the new facility, the city’s credentials in the sector and key role in the region’s high-skilled economy were highlighted by Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine: “Last November, the government published the Midlands Engine Science and Innovation Audit. It highlighted that the Midlands leads the way in the UK when it comes to medical technologies, employing 8000 in the sector, with 95,000 employed in related supporting sectors such as research and experimental development in biotechnology.”

“The £30m Discovery building, built with support from the D2N2 LEP and Nottingham City Council, adds to the success of BioCity Nottingham, the UK’s largest bioscience incubator. This building will support more than 700 new bioscience roles in the city during the next 30 years and is certain to draw the best and brightest from around the UK.”

Guests also learned more about the building’s unique Corona sculpture, designed by artist Wolfgang Buttress. Linked to two NASA satellites, this brisle soleil both improves the energy efficiency of the building by day and by night, whilst lighting the exterior of the building through a curtain of aluminium poles that reflect the sun’s solar flare activity.

The artwork was created by Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress using scientific research conducted by Dr Martin Bencsik from Nottingham Trent University.

BioCity Nottingham is an address with international credibility and prestige. Established in 2003, BioCity was one of the first Bioscience incubators, offering state-of-the-art laboratories and commercial office space to let/rent, alongside business support and services to early stage companies in the life sciences sector.

Covering 116,000 ft2 in three buildings, the 91% survival rate of companies at BioCity in Nottingham tangibly demonstrates one of the many benefits to a company of being located within the BioCity network.

Toby Reid, Managing Director for BioCity Group, said: “This is a state-of- the-art building, which is a very welcome addition to BioCity, the UK’s fastest-growing life sciences community. We are driving innovation in Nottingham’s rich science sector and we have needed this space for some time as we have been at capacity. This is great news for the companies we have based here and in terms of attracting new tenants keen to join us and begin, or even accelerate, their own journey.”

“That said, the 5062 ft2 ground floor office space will be suitable for SMEs across any sector such as professional services, recruitment companies or legal firms, for example. Our tenants don’t have to be actively working within the research or science sector to be a part of our community. The key is that they add value to our business community and can be a vital part in their success.”

Laura Jardine, surveyor for Innes England who are marketing the building, said: “The facilities at BioCity are ideal for businesses seeking premier commercial space in the centre of Nottingham and I expect there to be a lot of interest in these premises. The flexibility of the suites means that businesses can customise the four suites to suit their needs, or take the whole of the ground floor area.”