A multi-million pound deal has been struck for a major new Medical Technology (MedTech) Innovation Centre at Harlow Enterprise Zone after a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Essex County Council and Anglia Ruskin University.
The Centre, due to open autumn 2017, will support start-up businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as international companies, leading to job creation within the Harlow area and boosting economic growth in Essex.
The £5m Anglia Ruskin project will be supported by a £2.5m grant from Essex County Council and has the backing of Harlow District Council.
The MOU follows the recent announcement that Public Health England will be relocating its facilities to Harlow, with 2,500 jobs transferring to the town by 2024. The new MedTech Campus Science Park in Harlow will further increase the presence of the life sciences sector in the region and build its profile as an important element of the London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor.
Anglia Ruskin University, supported by Essex County Council, has a vision to establish three MedTech Campus Science Parks at Chelmsford, Harlow and Southend of which the Harlow MedTech Innovation Centre will form a part.
These campuses aim to create one of the world’s largest health innovation hubs, attracting international and national companies around the innovative medical technology sector. Investment in the campuses will help to establish Essex, and the UK, as a global leader in this sector and will secure local and national economic growth.
Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth stated: “The life sciences and healthcare sector is key to economic growth in Essex so I’m pleased to be working with Anglia Ruskin University on this important project. The Medtech Centre will bring jobs and growth to Harlow, as well as providing new opportunities for research and academic collaboration.”
Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Essex County Council to develop collaborative facilities for innovative businesses looking to start up in or relocate to Essex. The Harlow MedTech Innovation Centre will boost the development of our MedTech Campus, creating one of the largest health innovation spaces in the world.”
Vinci Developments Ltd have been appointed by Harlow District Council as its preferred development partner to build the new 25 acre Harlow Science Park which will incorporate the MedTech campus. Harlow Council’s legal agreement with Vinci will be concluded by early summer, with work on the site commencing towards the end of 2016.
About the Harlow MedTech Innovation Centre
The Innovation Centre will be located within the Harlow London Road North Enterprise Zone site and will mark one of the first developments on the site. It will be developed as an owner-occupied, new build construction providing approximately 15,000 sq.ft. gross building (ground, first and second floors), utilising 80-85% of this as lettable space (75% lettable offices and 5-10% meeting and networking space) for pre-start-up companies, start-up companies and early growth stage companies operating in the medtech field.
The MedBIC was the first step towards the MedTech Campus initiative – showing clear commitment towards the sector. Part funded by Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council, it opened in April 2014, was fully occupied by October 2015 demonstrating the strong demand for innovation support and space from the medtech sector.
It is intended that the Innovation Centre will act as a catalyst for the delivery of the wider Enterprise Zone site which will attract companies in the life sciences, advanced manufacturing and ICT sectors with a potential to create over 5,000 jobs.