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Newcastle looking for life science investor to accelerate sector growth

Expansion of commercial laboratory space on 1.7acres at Newcastle Helix will be key.

16 May 2023

Newcastle City Council is looking for an investor to accelerate the growth of the regions £1.7bn life science eco-system.

In 2018, The Biosphere was launched at Newcastle Helix. The commercial laboratory space represented a significant investment for the local economy and its fast-growing life sciences sector.

Huge demand for commercial lab and office space at The Biosphere, particulalry from Newcastle University spin-out companies, means Newcastle City Council is looking to appoint a partner with to expand and enhance the lab offering in the city and to ensure existing and future occupiers can continue to thrive and grow.

Newcastle is a UK hotspot for life sciences with almost 130 innovative and ambitious life science companies located in the city, employing more than 4,000 people.  Newcastle is at forefront of global innovation, leveraging research and development and support from world-leading universities and outstanding NHS Hospital Trusts, which are among the largest and highest achieving in the country.

Investors have the option of acquiring the existing lab facility and further development plots on Newcastle Helix, totalling 1.7 acres of brownfield land.

Cllr Alex Hay, Cabinet Member for a Resilient City, Newcastle City Council said:

Since our investment in commercial lab and office space on Newcastle Helix, the city has become the go to place for innovative and ambitious life science companies. We are so proud of its success and securing a private sector investor will support our city to build on this success.

The dynamic, forward-thinking companies who are based in The Biosphere are working on solutions for some of society’s most pressing challenges and our priority is to build an inclusive economy for Newcastle. The growth of the life science sector plays a huge part in that - creating jobs, retaining talent, and commercialising innovations and ideas that support people in our region to live healthier and longer lives.”

Jen Hartley, Director at Invest Newcastle said:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of Newcastle’s life science eco-system, right in the heart of our city centre and £1.7bn eco-system, supporting us to meet the growing demand we are seeing from spinouts, start-up, and global brands.

“There is already huge interest in Newcastle as a leading UK location in which to invest, develop or locate a life science business and securing a private sector investment will be critical to the growth of the sector and building on our reputation globally as a UK hotspot for the commercialisation of life sciences.”

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) has provided funding for Newcastle City Council to support the development of this investment opportunity.

Andrew Moffat CBE, Chair of the Investment Board at the North East LEP, said:

“The health and life sciences sector in the North East is a major growth area for our economy, and through the delivery of the North East Health, Life Sciences and Medicines Manufacturing Strategy, we hope to double the number of jobs and double the number of businesses active in the sector by 2030.

“The success of the first Biosphere building, which received £8.6m from the North East LEP’s Local Growth Fund, can give investors’ confidence that demand exists in our region for more world-class facilities that enable innovative start-ups to scaleup and grow.” 

Investors interested should email  or for further information.