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Case Study

Safeguarding the future of Alderley Park as a global centre of excellence for life sciences

Alderley Park in Cheshire is currently AstraZeneca's largest research and development site, and its global lead centre for cancer research. The 162 ha (400 acres) site has a rich legacy of important advancements in medical treatments, including a number of anti-cancer products.

In March 2013, AstraZeneca announced its intention to relocate its R&D activity from Alderley Park by 2016. In June, JLL was appointed to directly advise the AstraZeneca Site Options Team on the disposal methodology to deliver the combined aims of securing an ambitious life science legacy, affording short term occupational flexibility, minimising contract conditionality and maximising disposal proceeds. The necessary consultancy and agency skill sets were thus very different when compared to those required to complete a typical freehold sale of development land, particularly given that in summer 2013 the capital and occupational markets were only slowly beginning to recover.

On behalf of the Alderley Park Task Force, comprising of representatives from key stakeholder groups, and working closely with Cheshire East Council and 5plus Architects, JLL played lead role in producing the 'Alderley Park - Science for Life Development Prospectus' which set out a shared vision for the site's future development and purpose in order to maintain its role as a major destination for knowledge-based economic activity and enterprise.

Concurrently, JLL coordinated a targeted worldwide marketing campaign to elicit initial expressions of interest from those parties with exemplar track records of investing in science related real estate projects and the financial resource to acquire the site before holding, asset managing and delivering a long term, sustainable future post AstraZeneca's departure.

Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) was ultimately selected in January 2014 as the preferred bidder due to its ambitious vision and ability to leverage its real estate, university and industry networks in conjunction with Alderley Park's existing world class facilities, with the aim of creating significant new employment and inward investment opportunities.

JLL's role on this large scale and complex project has helped ensure that the site's world class facilities will continue to make a significant contribution towards growing the City Region's knowledge economy for years to come.

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