Barclays has selected Kent’s Discovery Park as the site for its newest Eagle Lab to enable collaboration between the life sciences and techy sectors, focused on clean energy, agri-tech and healthcare.
Work is due to complete on refurbishment of 50,000 sq ft of laboratories and collaborative workspace to create a wet lab incubator for biotech and life science businesses in August .
Discovery Park has been home to industry leader Pfizer for seven decades, cementing its reputation as a centre for global drug discovery. Pfizer pharmaceutical sciences, safety and regulatory, medical, quality assurance and wider business support functions are all based at the location.
One of just seven Life Science Opportunity Zones in the UK, Discovery Park occupies 220 acres at Sandwich, Kent and the site currently employs some 3,500 people.
Discovery Park chief business officer Jane Kennedy said: “Discovery Park is home to over 160 companies, with a significant proportion of these working in science and technology-based businesses.
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome the new Barclays Eagle Lab to Discovery Park which will provide a fantastic opportunity for collaboration and innovation among the Life Sciences and Technology sectors. We have real aspirations of creating a tech cluster at Discovery Park and this partnership with Barclays will help us achieve this.”
She added that the opening of the new Thanet trainline in 2023 will place Discovery Park less than an hour’s journey from London St Pancras and its growing Knowledge Quarter.
“The creation of a Barclays Eagle Lab at Discovery Park will support our wider ambition to build collaborative and productive links with the Knowledge Quarter which is home to The Crick Institute, Digital Catapult, Google and Yahoo, among others, catalysing opportunities for our tenant companies,” outlined Kennedy.
Those using the Eagle Lab space at Discovery Park will be supported by a dedicated ecosystem manager providing technical expertise, mentoring and connections required to integrate companies into Barclays’ UK network. Barclays’ local business banking teams and specialist ‘high-growth’ managers will also be available to provide support.