Bruntwood SciTech signing Sciontec deal as show of faith in Liverpool during crisis

After a competitive and legally thorough process, the owners of Sciontec Liverpool finalised contracts today, making Bruntwood SciTech a 25% shareholder in the company, which operates Liverpool Science Park.

Liverpool City Council, Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool announced that Bruntwood SciTech – a 50/50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General – had been shortlisted back in July 2019 and that this £12m deal would be a catalyst for growth within the science and tech sector in the Liverpool City Region.

Sciontec Liverpool is a spin-out company of KQ Liverpool ­– a strategic and placemaking organisation which is overseeing a £2bn development programme in the city’s first Mayoral Development Zone. It is headed up by Colin Sinclair, who is Chief Exec of both Sciontec and KQ Liverpool, and already has an exciting pipeline of development opportunities. These include plans for a new entrance and reception at Liverpool Science Park and new space at the city council’s successful Paddington Village development.

Liverpool Science Park has also recently taken over the Facilities Management for Sensor City, as the first step in creating a shared service platform across all of Liverpool’s science and tech assets.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and Chair of Sciontec Liverpool, said: “Sciontec Liverpool, now with Bruntwood SciTech as an investor, demonstrates that private and public partnership works. It has commitment, momentum, capacity and delivery potential but more importantly, it is unique to Liverpool, yet now part of a much bigger national picture. Our strengths in fighting infection and disease, digital health, personalised medicine and civic data, materials chemistry, robotics, big data and artificial intelligence will be even more relevant as we move to the recovery phase which will follow the current crisis.”

Despite the challenges of working remotely during the global pandemic legal advisors for both parties, DLA Piper and Addleshaw Goddard, have worked diligently with the owners, who all agreed that this deal demonstrates that Liverpool is still open for business.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “The coronavirus crisis has inflicted unprecedented change on all of us, however, innovation in health and science will be more important now than ever before. Playing to our existing strengths, and aligning them both nationally and internationally, will put us on the right track and by prioritising the health sector and knowledge economy we can begin to help our fantastic city to recover economically. It will be a long game – but we will come out of this better if we act quickly, with invention, positivity and vision.”

Mark Power, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer of Liverpool John Moores University, said: “Since taking over the operation of Liverpool Science Park a year ago, Sciontec has turned its fortunes around and it now operates at virtually 100% capacity, with more space now needed for Liverpool’s science and tech spin-outs, start-ups and SMEs. We knew we needed to find a partner whose experience and expertise could match our ambition and vision and are delighted to have selected Bruntwood SciTech as that partner. Liverpool can now lead the way in the UK’s recovery from coronavirus, with our focus on innovation in health, science and technology.”

Bruntwood SciTech – the UK’s leading property provider dedicated to driving the growth of the science and technology sector, creates the environments and ecosystems that enable science and tech companies to form, collaborate, grow and scale. Its portfolio across Manchester, Leeds, Cheshire and Birmingham already includes more than 500 science and technology businesses and will help to create more than 20,000 high value jobs over the next decade.

Phil Kemp, CEO of Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Now more than ever the importance of the UK’s science and tech sector is firmly in the public’s consciousness. But what the current crisis has also shown is the importance of individual cities with the infrastructure, facilities and talent necessary to deal with short-term issues head-on and provide a base for long-term innovation and success. Liverpool has undergone significant regeneration in recent years and we’re proud to be part of Sciontec Liverpool, supporting the growth of the city’s science and tech sector”.

Sciontec Liverpool was advised by DLA Piper UK LLP, CBRE and RSM UK during the bid process and shares transaction.