The University of Birmingham has today (23/03) completed the purchase of 9.9acres of land at the Battery Park site, Aston Webb Boulevard in Selly Oak, and plans to work with partners to develop the site into a brand new Life Sciences Park.

Birmingham Life Sciences Park will include state-of-the-art research and commercial facilities that will bring together new and existing partners to drive innovation and help to reinforce the city’s reputation as a leader in the Life Sciences field.

Investment from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and support from Birmingham City Council has allowed work to begin to turn the University’s pioneering plans of creating a pivotal life sciences facility into a reality.

Birmingham Life Sciences Park will harness the academic, clinical, and commercial strengths in the region in order to accelerate research development, taking innovative new healthcare technologies from the early stages of concept to real life application for improved patient care.

Uniquely located close to the University’s Edgbaston campus, the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women’s Hospital enables direct access to the unrivalled healthcare infrastructure of Birmingham Health Partners (which includes the Institute of Translational Medicine) and BioHub Birmingham, among many other centres of research and practice excellence all within close proximity.

This major new investment by the University builds on the region’s growing portfolio of world-class facilities for pioneering medical research and healthcare development, made possible through purposeful collaboration between academia, the NHS, patients, government, industry and major medical research funding bodies. Most recently this saw the opening of the Institute of Translational Medicine, a state-of-the-art facility supported by Birmingham Health Partners and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (now the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy), and the National Institute for Health Research Investment for the Birmingham Clinical Research Facility and new Biomedical Research Centre. This major investment will reinforce Birmingham’s importance as a key component of the UK life sciences offer.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood said: ‘This is a landmark step for our dynamic regional collaboration in Life Sciences and enhances our essential infrastructure enabling great advances in the way we tackle global healthcare challenges. We are already tackling cancer, chronic and rare diseases, mental health, trauma, and antibiotic resistance and making significant progress in this area, bringing real benefits to our communities locally and around the world. I look forward to working with our partners over the next few years to ensure we sustain momentum in this area.’

Leader of Birmingham City Council, John Clancy said: “The Battery Park development is part of an exciting period of regeneration for Birmingham as the city reinforces its position as a leading player in the life sciences sector.

“The life sciences park to be built here will complement the recently opened Institute of Transitional Medicine and help to transform Birmingham into a global hub for medical research.

“This is a fine example of partnership working, bringing together the City Council, the University of Birmingham and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver something that will create jobs and wealth for the economy and, crucially, develop new healthcare technologies for improved patient care.”

Managing Director of Birmingham Health Partners, John Williams said: “This is an important development for Birmingham Health Partners, that will help us deliver at pace the benefits of cutting edge research to the communities we serve.”

Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a fantastic step forward for Birmingham and the wider region, demonstrating the expanding and excellent ability within our diverse demographic to deliver the very best in translational research.
“This will ultimately deliver better treatments and care to patients, not just locally but worldwide.”

Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sarah-Jane Marsh, said: “The development of the life science park provides us with a unique opportunity to further develop world class translational research in Birmingham, which will ultimately lead to better outcomes, and improve the quality of life for thousands of women, children and families across our region and beyond.”