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Pioneer Group to deliver new lab space at Cardiff Edge

 In a major boost for Welsh life sciences, Pioneer Group, one of the UK’s largest developers and operators of lab space, has secured planning permission to deliver 54,500 square feet of purpose-built lab space at the company’s Cardiff Edge Science Park development.

The space is being delivered as part of a new two-storey building that has been designed for maximum flexibility – meaning it will be available to let in its entirety or split across several units. As a result, the new state-of-the-art facility will be able to cater for companies across the life sciences spectrum – from start-ups and scale-ups to multinational blue chips.

Plans to deliver 10,000 square feet of amenity space have also been approved by Cardiff City Council, which will provide occupiers with access to facilities such as a restaurant, café and flexible meeting and work spaces.

Cardiff Edge Science Park was acquired by Pioneer Group in April 2021 in what was one of the largest deals made in Wales that year. The 30-acre site comprises 180,000 sq. ft of high-quality life sciences, R&D and office space across seven buildings. Major occupiers are based at the campus – including Cytiva, Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board and DEFRA – which has the potential to deliver a further 300,000 sq. ft of new lab, office, incubator and GMP space.

Situated just five miles north of Cardiff City Centre, the schemes sits within the fast-growing South Wales Life Sciences cluster. Locally there are three universities and two major hospitals plus the new Velindre Cancer Care Centre which is being developed.

The life sciences industry contributes over £2 billion to the Welsh economy each year, while also supporting 12,000 jobs across 260 companies. Cardiff, the country’s capital, has been recognised as a centre of excellence for precision medicine by Innovate UK. Support is also available to companies via the Life Science Hub Wales, the Wales Life Science Investment Fund, Life Science Bridging Fund and the Life Science National Research Network.The med tech sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Cardiff, where there are 200 companies working in medical diagnostics and devices – most of them SMEs. Between them, the companies employ over 8,000 people and have a combined turnover of £1.5 billion – highlighting the region’s success in commercialising research and discovery.

Simon Hoad, Director at Pioneer Group, said: “Our expansion plans at Cardiff Edge will ensure crucial capacity for the growth and development of various exciting fields of healthcare – such as genomics, diagnostics and other sub sectors. State-of-the-art designs will introduce flexible layouts that will harness the power of collaboration to drive first-rate research and knowledge outcomes.”

Pioneer Group’s operating asset base consists of more than four million square feet of highly leased office/laboratory and manufacturing space in key locations in the UK and Ireland, including London, Cambridge, Nottingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin.

The company delivers the most comprehensive suite of accelerator and venture building, helping founders to transfer cutting-edge discovery into visionary ventures that scale. Pioneer Group’s in-house team supports start-ups and scale-ups and works in partnership with organisations such as Innovate UK AbbVie, Astellas, Academic Health Science Networks and many of the UK’s leading universities.