Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet has approved a draft development framework for the bioscience hub being created at AstraZeneca’s former Alderley Park site.
The draft outlines the Council’s expectations for development proposals and will be used to help in determining planning applications when it is finalised.
It will now undergo a formal six-week public consultation and will be reviewed again when representations have been received.
The framework will play a vital role in guiding future development of the 400-acre site to ensure that its reputation as a world-class centre for research and development in life sciences is protected and built upon.
Alderley Park is of paramount importance to the local economy and the life science sector in the North West. It has played a key role in the development of many new drugs, including cancer treatments, and many of its facilities and assets are unique in Europe.
In March 2014, after AstraZeneca announced the transfer of its research and development staff to Cambridge, the site was sold to Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP).
MSP is proposing to invest £107m over 10 years to improve the site, repurpose buildings to make them suitable for multi-occupancy, decommission redundant facilities and invest in both maintenance and improvement of key assets to retain the site’s world class R&D capabilities.
AstraZeneca’s move is currently six months ahead of schedule, so MSP needs to move quickly before talented people find jobs elsewhere.
Therefore, it wants to bring forward Phase 1 of its investment strategy and make a major capital investment to maintain and upgrade existing assets by the end of 2015.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Our aim is to create an independent, self-sustaining, world-class hub for life sciences, while also protecting the heritage of this unique site.
“The early signs are very promising and we hope that a redeveloped Alderley Park could support as many as 7,000 jobs, which is more than were employed at the peak of AstraZeneca’s activity.”