Lab rats – how the UK life sciences sector is struggling to find space to work

The UK wants to build on its already successful position as a globally important player in the life sciences and pharma sectors. Yet it is struggling to create enough space for growth in the right places and having to rethink wher research and innovation takes place In November 2023, plans to turn part of a golf course next to a motorway into a £340 million science park were refused by South Oxfordshire District Council. Although now classified as greenbelt, the location was the site of a landfill as recently as the 1990s and is just a stone’s throw from both the A40 trunk road and M40 motorway. The developers are expected to appeal. Whatever the details of this story, it is an example of how challenging it can be to meet demand for lab and life sciences space in the so-called Golden Triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge in the South of England. This lack of supply is acting as a brake on the UK Government’s dream of making the country a “science superpower”. More →