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Lab space in London: An evolving story

A year on from the publication of MedCity’s London Life Science Real Estate Demand Report, highlighting lack of lab space in London, Business Development Lead Wael Muselmani reports on some recent developments in our cluster.

The formation of MedCity Lab Providers Forum last December was our response to one of five recommendations that emerged from the Demand Report, namely to “create a dynamic resource of life science R&D demand, activity and needs across London that can be used by ecosystem stakeholders to optimise real estate development”. The Forum was therefore founded with the intention of increasing visibility of life sciences real estate development in London; facilitating knowledge exchange among providers and developers of lab space; and providing a free brokerage service for healthcare start-ups, enabling them to more easily find space specifically suited to their needs.


The Forum now has 16 members providing lab space in London or nearby, and the number of announcements from members over the past few months about new spaces becoming available or under development is indicative of the current vigour in life sciences real estate.

In September, ARC announced that it is adding ‘Refinery’, a 121,000 sq. ft. science and tech laboratory building, to its West London cluster. Two months later, the London BioScience Innovation Centre (LBIC) unveiled its expansion plans. LBIC will open a new 37,127 sq. ft. state-of-the-art innovation centre at The Apex, one of five mixed-use buildings within the ‘Tribeca’ development in King’s Cross being delivered by Reef Group and Blackrock Alternatives. The Apex, scheduled for completion in autumn 2023, will build on LBIC’s existing provision to offer additional high-tech lab facilities.

In the past week, British Land has also joined the Lab Providers Forum and an outline of their lab space in London, Cambridge and Guildford is included in the updated Lab Providers Forum directory.

On joining the Forum, David Lockyer, Head of Campuses at British Land, said:

“British Land has an excellent track record of delivering world class office-led campuses that appeal to fast growing, innovation customers. With the growth of the innovation and life sciences sectors in recent years, combined with the limited supply of lab space, we will be delivering 140,000 sq. ft. of lab space to meet this growing demand. We are really excited to be partnering with MedCity, whose knowledge of the innovation and life sciences sector will be invaluable as we seek to grow this area of the business.”


Meanwhile the Innovation Gateway at The London Cancer Hub in Sutton, co-located with the world-renowned Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, reported back to us that, since launching their lab facilities in the Spring of 2022, the space is almost fully let.

Earlier this month, it was announced that personalised cancer medicine start-up Curesponse had moved into the Innovation Gateway, and this was closely followed by the signing of another new start-up introduced through the Lab Providers Forum. The Innovation Gateway is now almost at capacity, with limited space still available. (Find full details here.)

Andy Carr, Business Development Manager, The Institute of Cancer Research, commented:

“The ICR has been involved with MedCity of course for forever, but the Lab Providers Forum was new to us 12 months ago. In that time, we have almost filled the brand-new Innovation Gateway incubator with tenants, many of whom have come directly as referrals from the Forum. What’s not to like about that?”

Find out more

If you are seeking lab space or providing lab space and would like to find out more about MedCity Lab Providers Forum and how it can support you, please visit our dedicated web page.

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