Work begins on new South Cambridge Science Centre

A CGI of mockup of the forthcoming South Cambridge Science Centre scheme

Work has begun on the new South Cambridge Science Centre (SCSC) at a brownfield site in Sawston, south of the city.

The first building that will be ready at SCSC is a 145,000 sq. ft., three-storey R&D development, which will feature parking for 269 cars and 225 bicycles. It is expected to be completed and fully operational by early 2025.

Another phase, comprising an additional 45,000 sq. ft. building, is planned as part of a repositioning of the wider Dales Manor Estate into a new life sciences destination in Cambridge.

[Related reading: Brownfield site to provide much-needed, ‘affordable’ lab space in Cambridge]

Abstract (Mid Tech) Ltd, part of Abstract Securities, which is developing the site, said the new building will be net zero carbon in operation; have an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating and boast an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of ‘A’.

Mark Glatman, chief executive of the Abstract Group, said: “Having been granted detailed planning consent, we are delighted to have now started on site to create much-needed new science and technology lab space within the South Cambridge Cluster.

“South Cambridge Science Centre is in an established region of Cambridge where the availability of quality laboratories is extremely limited, whilst there is huge demand from fast-growing companies in this sector. Tight land supply and a complex planning regime has contributed to this lack of supply.

‘’We are creating laboratory space suitable for a wide range of organisations, offering maximum flexibility in a landscaped setting, and sitting alongside the proposed Cambridge South-East Transport route (CSET), which will eventually link the neighbouring science and research parks, Biomedical Campus and Cambridge City Centre.

“With current rents in this market pushing towards £70 per sq ft, we will be delivering best in class space at a significant discount.”

Christopher McPherson, development director of parent company Abstract Securities, said: “To our knowledge, no other building in the Cambridge market has higher environmental standards than SCSC. Given the requirement for world-class yet affordable laboratory space in the area, we anticipate high demand for SCSC, which will be available for occupation in around 16 months in early 2025 and we are in early discussions with several organisations who recognise the need to move early to satisfy their growth ambitions. We are also developing designs for the next phase of development and would envisage submitting planning shortly.’’

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