Flex Life Sciences Scheme To Open In White City To Ease London Space Shortage
Business community operator Scale Space is leasing 60K SF of a wider 200K SF building that is part of the Imperial College White City Campus. The first 100K SF office phase of the building opened last year and is now home to more than 20 businesses and 1,000 workers.
Floorplates in Scale Space can be fitted out as offices or labs, providing a space boost to London’s life sciences sector. Typical lab requirements, such as for additional power and ventilation, are enabled through the building’s specification.
JLL estimates that demand from life sciences companies for space in London will increase by between 1.2M SF and 4M SF over the next four to five years, but there is not enough space to house this demand.
The problem is particularly felt by life sciences scale-ups, which need low cost of entry, lab and office space, and access to talent and know-how that can help them grow, Scale Space said.
The building on the White City Campus, which is part of the wider White City Innovation District, is a partnership between Scale Space and Imperial College, one of the UK’s top universities. Growing life sciences companies are increasingly keen to be located near research universities, in order to tap into the pool of talented graduates and potentially lucrative ideas.
“Currently the overall provision of lab space is dispersed across London, and in limited supply,” said JLL Head of Life Sciences Glenn Crocker, who advised on the deal. “Some buildings could be converted to labs, but there can be challenges in doing that and landlords often need a qualifier of covenant before they make the investment. This can be problematic for scaling life sciences businesses, which are often still dependent on equity funding. The other factor is life sciences companies generally favour being clustered rather than dispersed.”