Cheshire East Council has been praised by a government minister for its work supporting the life sciences sector.
The council has led the efforts of a senior group of stakeholders from across the country to assist the growth and expansion of the sector.
George Freeman MP, minister for life sciences, says : “Former pharmaceutical sites are a huge opportunity for the UK life sciences sector to provide valuable hubs for smaller companies.”
A special ‘toolkit’ has been developed in order to help companies in the sector make key decisions on how to maximise the potential of existing sites and to assist them when considering relocation or opening new sites.
Freeman adds : “This toolkit will be a fantastic resource to help protect and grow these existing regional clusters of expertise and the creation of ‘life science opportunity zones’ should be a powerful lever to secure local investment and growth.”
Cheshire East Council worked alongside partners in Wales, Kent and London and built on the experience gained through assisting the growth of Alderley Park and the Cheshire Science Corridor.
The council is also working with the Office for Life Sciences to put forward AstraZeneca’s site at Macclesfield. The site is one of the largest of its kind in the country.
Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, says: “The council has worked closely with a number of partners to develop this toolkit, which we hope will be of great benefit.
“Our continued support for the growth of Alderley Park as a world-class science hub and our work in strengthening the Cheshire Science Corridor means that we have gathered useful knowledge and experience of the opportunities that exist for the sector in the UK.
“When this is combined with the experiences of our private sector partners and other local authorities elsewhere, this provides a unique and valuable resource.
“Life science opportunity zones are an exciting opportunity and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the minister and the Office for Life Sciences to ensure that our assets in the Cheshire science corridor are fully recognised.”