AstraZeneca is selling its Alderley Park site in Cheshire, UK, to Manchester Science Parks.
Manchester Science Parks (MSP) is a Manchester-based public-private partnership and science park operator. Chris Oglesby, Chairman of MSP and Chief Executive of MSP majority shareholder, Bruntwood, commented in a statement: “We are delighted to have been entrusted with securing the future of Alderley Park as a bioscience facility of world class scale and quality. We are committed to developing a bioscience business cluster of international importance on the site, making it a flagship location of its kind for the North of England and the UK.”
AstraZeneca stated that in a press release that the sale is part of the company’s plan to establish a new global R&D centre and corporate headquarters in Cambridge, UK, in 2016. According to AstraZeneca, the new owners plan to build on Alderley Park’s heritage of scientific innovation, “ensuring that the 400 acre site remains a life science and biotechnology campus.”
“We believe that the sale of the site to Manchester Science Parks is the responsible and sustainable choice for the future of Alderley Park. The new owner is committed to building on AstraZeneca’s life science legacy at the site and ensuring it remains a centre of biotechnology innovation in the North West of England. It will lead to future growth and offer significant opportunities for new jobs to be created,” said Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca expects to complete the sale by end of March 2014 and will remain a key tenant on the site. The handover of the site will be phased over a three year period, with the full exit of AstraZeneca R&D staff to take place in line with the completion of the company’s new facility in Cambridge. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Alderley Park will remain a major location for AstraZeneca in the UK states the company, with around 700 staff on the site in non-R&D roles following the transition to Cambridge. AstraZeneca will continue to have a presence in the North West of England with approximately 3,000 employees across Alderley Park, the Macclesfield manufacturing site and the MedImmune vaccine manufacturing facility in Speke.