Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst continues to lead the way as an iconic hub for growth in the UK Life Sciences industry, as it has successfully been named as one of six pioneering Life Science Opportunity Zones.

Nadhim Zahawi MP, a Minister at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, made the announcement at the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Annual Conference.

In the government's recent second Life Sciences Sector Deal, it promised to take action to help areas that had clear life sciences strengths to continue to grow. Life Sciences Opportunity Zones (LSOZ) will be a key part of this and they will promote life science parks to potential investors. The LSOZs will highlight opportunities in an area, for example available lab space, land to build new facilities, or links with higher education.

On the GSK campus is the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s revolutionary large scale manufacturing facility, which is already a Europe-leading centre of excellence and has attracted businesses to come from far and wide, including the US. SBC tenants have already raised approximately £1bn in investment since SBC opened in 2012, 60% of which has been in the future-looking cell and gene therapy companies.

Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, Chief Executive Officer at SBC, said: "We are delighted to receive Life Science Opportunity Zone designation for the Stevenage Advanced Therapeutics Campus. I would like to thank our supporting partners in the successful bid, namely GlaxoSmithKline, Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult, LifeArc, Kadans Science Partner, University of Hertfordshire, Royal Veterinary College and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. I look forward to working together to accelerate the growth of this globally recognised cluster for advanced therapeutics."

Paul Witcombe, Head of Enterprise and Innovation at the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: "Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst has made a huge contribution to the rapid clustering of world-class corporate and academic research excellence on the GSK Campus at Stevenage. By awarding it opportunity zone status, SBC can strengthen the UK’s sectorial advantage and Hertfordshire’s position within the Oxford-London-Cambridge golden research triangle."