Accelerating city’s life sciences sector

The Chrysalis Fund has invested £11.5m into a world class life science hub in Liverpool marking its biggest commitment to date and paving the way for the city’s future in the sector.

The new £25m Liverpool Life Sciences Accelerator will enable innovative research into antibiotic resistance and forms a key part of Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter.

It co-locates the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and a raft of relevant SMEs with larger scale industrial collaboration through pre-existing product development partnerships. The 70,000 square foot building will provide state-of-the-art laboratory space and offices.

John Tatham, partnerships director at Igloo and fund manager at the Chrysalis Fund, said: “This investment marks an important landmark for the fund. It demonstrates our ability to invest in projects that drive forward the city’s key strategic priorities of creating and retaining high value jobs and delivering economic growth. 

“We’re delighted to be able to provide the loan for this development which will further bolster Liverpool’s reputation as a centre for global excellence in life sciences which represents a £1.7bn economy.”

The Chrysalis Fund, which supports commercial regeneration activities across the Liverpool city region, has now invested more than £32m in a number of projects. Investments to date include £5.6m towards the redevelopment of Grade II listed Watson House on Renshaw Street and £3.5m to Italian cable manufacturer Tratos based on Knowsley Business Park.

Situated on Daulby Street, within the grounds of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, the Accelerator will have five floors. Two floors will be available for commercial laboratories and office facilities for Small & Medium-sized Enterprises involved in developing products that will improve patient care and treatment outcomes. A further two floors will be devoted to LSTM’s Resistance mitigation portfolio, which is playing a leading role in the global fight against the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Building on site will start in mid-November with the Life Sciences Accelerator due to open in June 2017.

Professor Janet Hemingway CBE, Director of LSTM, said:  “LSTM was one of the first institutions in the world to recognise the importance of studying and understanding the phenomenon of drug resistance.

“With a proven track record of industry partnership and ground breaking, lifesaving research, the Accelerator will allow us to further boost Liverpool’s reputation as a world renowned centre of expertise. The collaboration with the Royal and SMEs will benefit global health by taking research and innovation from the lab to where it is needed most and will encourage further investment in Liverpool.”

Helen Jackson, director of strategy and transformation at the Trust, said: “The Accelerator will provide a hub for life sciences, enabling clinicians, academics and industry to collaborate in research and innovation to develop their ideas into the very latest life-saving treatments.

“This building is the first stage in a far-reaching development strategy that will define Liverpool’s future economy as a world leader in life sciences and boost regeneration of the Knowledge Quarter area of the city.

“The Accelerator is the first development in the creation of a city centre health campus that will be built on the site of the existing Royal Liverpool University Hospital. This Liverpool Health Campus will consist of 200,000 square metres of space, attracting life sciences, biomedical research companies and health organisations. This will generate 5,000 high value jobs and help the city develop a thriving life science economy.”

The Chrysalis Fund is backed by the European Investment Bank, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and European Regional Development Fund under the JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) programme.

The fund is managed by the Igloo Consortium, which is made up of Igloo Regeneration Limited, Bilfinger GVA and RBC Capital Markets and operates in partnership with the Liverpool City Region LEP and the local authorities.