The hi-tech life sciences hub at Alderley Park has been unveiled by the Chancellor as part of a new enterprise zone.
It marks another landmark step forward towards delivering 7,000 new jobs in life sciences at the former AstraZeneca site. In 2012, pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca (AZ) announced its decision to relocate its R&D to Cambridge.
George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement yesterday that the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone will cover Cheshire East’s Alderley Park, Birchwood’s nuclear hub in Warrington, Ellesmere Port and Thornton Science Park in Cheshire West.
The announcement was hailed by Cheshire East Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones as another ‘real boost’ to the Cheshire East science corridor and the wider economy of the Northern Gateway region.
The news follows the launch at Alderley Park, in September, of a £30m Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund, expansion of AZ’s Hurdsfield operation and Cheshire East Council investment of £1m in Jodrell Bank to help unlock more than £100m of investment funding for the world-leading radio telescope to lead the international Square Kilometre Array project.
Cllr Jones said today: “This is a great vote of confidence in, and achievement for, Alderley Park, Cheshire East Council and reinforces the science corridor.
“I greatly welcome this clear sign of the Chancellor’s commitment to growing the already world-class life science cluster in the Cheshire and Warrington area.
“We look forward to working with all the partners in this new innovation enterprise zone to achieve real benefits for companies, not only in Alderley Park, following on from the science ‘catapult’ in medical technologies.
“This is great news for the whole region and strong evidence of the Northern Powerhouse in action.”
Last July the Government said the best of the UK’s businesses, scientists, clinicians and engineers would work side-by-side in the new ‘catapult in medicines technologies.’
The programme will further boost the economic recovery of Alderley Park and play a key role in the bioscience element in the vision for the Northern Powerhouse.
Cheshire East Council has a 10 per cent stake in the Manchester Science Partnership, which aims to build on Alderley Park’s international reputation as a centre of excellence in the world of bioscience and life science research and development.
● The Chancellor also announced yesterday a £400m Northern Powerhouse investment fund will be created to help small businesses to grow – with £5m going to Manchester Museum and £150m to help make oyster-style ticketing a reality across the North.