LLEP rallies Government to support Charnwood Life Sciences Zone

The Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) is spearheading a campaign to ask the Government to support Charnwood Campus (the former Astra Zeneca site) near Loughborough as the UK’s first 'Life Sciences Opportunities Zone' (LSOZ).

The LLEP has played an important part in a group of key partners including local businesses Almac, 3M and Medilink East Midlands, the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough, local and national government, who have worked with the site owners to put the proposal for Charnwood Campus together.

The concept of Life Science Opportunity Zones came from best practice of businesses involved with similar sites elsewhere in the UK - places that were specifically set up for science companies, but had become vacant. The idea is that industry, universities and Government partners plan together how to bring these sites back into use.

Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough, who has chaired the taskforce group said: “Recognition as a ‘Life Science Opportunities Zone’ would help raise the profile of the Charnwood Campus nationally and internationally. It would give the site a badge indicating the intent of local and national partners to support companies on site and would make the Campus a very attractive proposition to pharmaceutical and biomedical companies from across the globe, potentially bringing in valuable investment and job creation into the area.

“I raised the question of our Life Sciences Opportunities Zone in the House of Commons on Tuesday morning (7th November) and Nick Hurd, BEIS Minister, replied to say the proposal is ‘impressive and shows great potential’. We understand that it is currently with Ministers and we are all working hard to champion this for Charnwood, Leicestershire and the entire Midlands region.”

Our University has been a key part of the taskforce group and has taken a strong interest in the site’s development. Professor Iain Gillespie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise said: “Charnwood Campus is a phenomenal asset to Leicestershire. The University has big plans for building on our expertise in Life Sciences, following our investment in the Precision Medicine Institute. Charnwood Campus provides a perfect opportunity to build closer relationships between research and industry.”

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