Stevenage's reputation as a home for the science industry is set to increase further with the official opening of a new laboratory space today (Thursday, May 18).

Sycamore House, located off Gunnels Wood Road in the industrial estate, offers 103,000 square feet of office and lab space to start-ups, scale-ups and corporate companies in the life science industry.

The redevelopment has been overseen by Kadans Science Partner, a European leader in developing science and technology real estate. They have poured £25m of investment into the building since 2020.

The official opening of the building, which will be attended by more than 100 life science leaders, marks another key moment in the development of Stevenage as a hub for the science industry.

The Comet: The redeveloped building includes a variety of communal spaces.The redeveloped building includes a variety of communal spaces. (Image: Kadans Science Partner)

Among the leaders in attendance will be Steve Bates OBE, CEO of the UK BioIndustry Association. He will be master of ceremonies, while the keynote address will be provided by Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK.

Leaders from supporting partners including Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, and Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult, will also be present.

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Much of the space at Sycamore House has already been taken up by various companies. It is home to the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult's Skills and Training Laboratories, which were part-funded by a £3m investment from Herts LEP.

Other current tenants include Achilles Therapeutics, Charles River Laboratories, Cytiva, Freeline Therapeutics, GSK and Rentschler Biopharma.

Previously, the 1980s building was a storage facility. Now, in addition to its labs and offices, it hosts communal areas with meeting rooms, seating, waiting areas, a café, and breakout spaces. Spaces available to rent vary in size from 100 to 2,000 square metres.

Sycamore House is just the latest in a long line of developments that have made Stevenage one of Europe's largest cell and gene therapy clusters.

The cluster has evolved through a shared vision from Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, CGT Catapult and Herts LEP, which has been backed by more than £100m in government investment.

Since 2012, companies based at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst - also in the industrial estate - have raised £2.9bn of investment, with 70 per cent of that in cell and gene therapy.

James Sheppard, managing director of Kadans Science Partner, said: "Our investment in Sycamore House is testament to Stevenage’s position as a cluster of excellence and we’re excited to become part of this growing ecosystem.

"This facility provides much needed grow on space for cutting edge life science companies.”