This booming sector can help drive the UK recovery – and it’s hungry for space.
The search for a covid-19 vaccine has shone a light on the life sciences sector and the many research institutions around the UK that have committed significant resources to this endeavour. However, a number of fundamentals have been driving growth in the sector since before the pandemic. Long-term healthcare needs are changing. An ageing population and increases in life expectancy and lifestyle-related diseases, together with rapidly evolving technologies, big data use and developments in personalised therapies, all point to increasing demand for space to house a burgeoning life sciences industry.
The sector has been resilient to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, with rent collection holding up well, and supply and demand dynamics remaining strong. There is huge potential for investors keen to support academic output in this sector and satisfy the demand for laboratory and office space in various locations across the UK.
The UK’s life sciences industry is highly regarded around the world and home to some of the most prominent research universities globally, with Oxford, Cambridge, UCL and Imperial College London at its core. Some 42% of the UK’s life sciences companies have spun out from academic institutions, and the sector receives significant support from the government which, before covid-19, committed £22bn a year to the sector in the 2020 budget.