Following today’s autumn statement, there are promising signs of support for the UK’s vital industries, including £4.5 billion of funding for British manufacturers. Discovery Park’s designation as a Life Science Opportunity Zone recognised the park’s growth potential, highlighting the science park’s fantastic infrastructure and ability to support advanced manufacturing. We prioritise the development of sustainable solutions and are pleased to see the commitment to support clean energy included as part of this plan.
With many high-growth businesses based on site, the announced pension reforms and new Growth Fund within the British Business Bank are a welcome inclusion. We look forward to witnessing the impact of this £75 billion of financing for these high-growth companies. This, combined with the announced expense tax cuts, will allow these companies to invest in important equipment to cement their growth.
AI is already playing a significant role in the development of new medicines and technologies, so the £500 million to support Compute innovation centres will be vital to build the UK’s reputation in this growing area and we anticipate the benefits of this growth being felt across industries. We can already see the benefits that convergence is bringing to the life sciences sector and the growing emergence of ‘techbio’ in accelerating the pace of drug development.
The announcement of £20 million in funding for new dementia treatments will be key to developing novel therapies and likely benefit thousands of people, however, the lack of a comprehensive plan to build the life sciences industry is disappointing. The sector is still booming, and we’ve seen an uplift in demand for lab space from new and growing businesses at Discovery Park.
In order to realise the UK’s potential as a science superpower, a focused strategy will be needed alongside an ability to think ‘outside the triangle’. We hope to see the government share more around this in the coming days.