Science Vale UK is a magnet for new business

Science Vale UK and Oxford in general are outperforming other locations in the Thames Valley for new businesses moving into the area, according to an independent report.

Throughout last year and the first quarter of this year, Science Vale UK, which covers Culham Science Centre, Milton Park and Harwell Campus, proved very popular for the life sciences and space technology sectors within Lambert Smith Hampton’s 2017 Thames Valley Office Market Report.

Take-up remained solid at 258,000 square foot for both Science Vale and Oxford, of which 42,000 was at Milton Park and 14,000 was occupied at Harwell.  Both of these sites are set to continue to attract more businesses by speculatively building new office and laboratory space.  Immunocore Ltd, a world-leading T-cell receptor company, recently announced further expansion at Milton Park with an extra 53,000 square foot.

Matthew Barber, Leader of Vale of the White Horse District Council said: “Science Vale UK has the highest concentration of science research facilities and development activity in Western Europe and this report clearly demonstrates that organisations are excited to move here.

“Within the Science Vale UK region, are two enterprise zones.  The zones offer discounted business rates and can help a qualifying organisation to save up to £55,000 a year in business rates for five years.  This, along with fast-track planning approval, have been the important foundations of success for the whole region.”

There are many benefits to living and working in and around the Science Vale UK region.  The business parks have a highly skilled workforce, good transport links to Oxford, London and Heathrow and is situated on the edge of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Didcot Garden Town is the gateway to the Science Vale UK region and has proposals to improve cycle paths and roads from the town to the business parks.  It also has renewable and sustainable energy options integrated into its plans.

The market report said that during the second quarter of this year, demand for new premises will continue and is ‘a testament to the robust investment in the knowledge economy of Oxford and South Oxfordshire.’  This backs up the Science Vale UK and Didcot Garden Town predictions that 20,000 new jobs will be created in the next 20 years.

Notes to editors:

Science Vale UK is a global hotspot for enterprise and innovation.  The region contains two enterprise zones, at various locations including Milton Park, Harwell and Didcot.

The enterprise zones attract world-class research, development and manufacturing in space, energy, pharmaceuticals and advanced engineering.

The enterprise zones cover 216 hectares of development opportunity and have superb connections with academia, research institutes and likeminded professionals.

Qualifying businesses can save up to £55,000 a year on business rates for five years (maximum of £275,000) when they move into the zone.

The enterprise zones awarded by government in 2012 and 2016, will directly benefit the area and its residents through helping to create jobs, enhance services and build new infrastructure.  The Business Rate Discount is a fully funded government scheme.

All of the business rate increase is retained by the council for 25 years, provided it is spent on developing the enterprise zone including new infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

More information on the Science Vale UK region can be found at

More information on the Lambert Smith Hampton report can be found at