Long-term support and investment by Hertfordshire LEP in Stevenage’s cell and gene therapy cluster sees it at the top of UK places for international investment and economic growth.
An international webinar by the Department of International Trade is set to promote Stevenage’s unique life sciences ecosystem to a global audience of leading companies and investors.
The Stevenage Cell and Gene Therapy cluster is Europe's largest CGT cluster and the webinar on July 28 will promote the huge opportunities in the region for companies looking to develop, trial and manufacture new and innovative therapies.
The event is the first time the region has been able to promote itself directly to the global market, and kickstarts the sector action plan created by the Life Sciences Industry Panel convened by Hertfordshire LEP and Hertfordshire Growth Board with the aim of driving forward actions that will deliver sustained growth, improved health outcomes and a huge economic uplift for the county and across the UK.
The event comes as the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst reaches the next milestone for its plans to create one of Europe’s largest life sciences hubs. UBS Asset Management and Reef are expected to deliver up to £900m of new investment in the new campus, which will be built on a 33-acre site alongside SBC and its 40+ occupier companies, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and GSK’s existing global R&D centre.
Hertfordshire LEP, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst have been working closely with DIT to help progress opportunities for inward investment since the success of the LEP’s bid in 2020 to have Stevenage recognized as a High Potential Opportunity Zone in recognition of its thriving cell and gene therapy cluster of national and international significance.
It comes as the Catalyst celebrates its 10th anniversary, having been formed in July 2012 through a partnership with GSK, supported by Hertfordshire LEP.
Stevenage is at the centre of the largest cluster of cell and gene therapy companies outside of the US and the recent announcements follow years of support and investment in the sector by Hertfordshire LEP, which has been working over the past five years to support the cluster after identifying it as a significant player in generating economic growth for the region. Since 2018 the LEP has helped secure more than £10m in funding for the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. In 2021 the LEP commissioned a report which set out how the county’s globally significant cell and gene therapy cluster can sustain its momentum and be a catalyst for UK life sciences growth.
Mark Bretton, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP and the LEP Network, said: “Hertfordshire now has one of the highest concentrations of pharma manufacturing and R&D employment in England and I am pleased that the LEP has been able to work with its many partners to enable the region to take such a leading position in such a strategic sector.
“The ongoing work of the Life Sciences Industry Panel is a prime example of how we can continue to drive research and innovation, developing sector clusters that galvanise our local economies.”
Hertfordshire now has one of the highest concentrations of pharma manufacturing and R&D employment in England and I am pleased that the LEP has been able to work with its many partners to enable the region to take such a leading position in such a strategic sector.