An exciting and much-needed addition to Oxford’s laboratory facilities – the Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington – has now been completed, OxLEP have announced.
A £1.1 million project by The Oxford Trust, the Centre offers significant new life science laboratory facilities and increased capacity within the local innovation ecosystem.
Over a quarter of the funding – around £300,000 – was secured by OxLEP via the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
The Wood Centre for Innovation also brings more than 100 new jobs into the Oxfordshire economy and will provide further economic growth for the city and Headington community. The new centre helps to meet the unprecedented demand from science and technology start-ups and SMEs for laboratory facilities in Oxford’s science and technology district.
One of the UK’s leading technology clusters, the area of the city is now globally recognised for delivering lifesaving developments, such as the COVID-19 vaccine and other innovative technologies, driven by Oxfordshire’s world-leading innovation ecosystem.
Now with a total of 18,000 square feet of laboratory and allied spaces, the Wood Centre for Innovation offers its clients access to state-of-the-art shared facilities for common equipment, including; liquid nitrogen, refrigerated storage, autoclave, ultra-pure water, dark room and an on-site lab technician alongside high-efficiency offices, meeting rooms and co-working areas.
The Local Growth Fund investment for the centre, secured by OxLEP, is an example of how Local Enterprise Partnerships in England are driving forward economic growth.
The Local Growth Fund allows LEPs to use their local knowledge to promote growth in their individual regions. Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested generates benefits worth £4.81.
By the end of 2021, central Government had invested over £12 billion into the UK economy via the Local Growth Fund.
Nigel Tipple – OxLEP Chief Executive – said: “It has been very rewarding to see this significant project develop over the past two years, knowing how it will contribute to Oxfordshire’s world-class science and innovation. We were pleased to have been able to secure contributions from the Local Growth Fund to support both phases of the Centre’s creation.
“We look forward to seeing our world-leading science and innovation continue to build on its strong position. OxLEP currently oversees a £3.1bn growth programme for the county and we will continue to play a vitally-important role in securing investment and championing new opportunities that benefit the county’s businesses and communities.”
Steve Burgess, CEO of The Oxford Trust said: “The Local Growth Fund funding secured by OxLEP has ensured that we can now offer grade A office space and class II laboratory facilities to support science and tech start-ups focused on ground-breaking therapeutics and emerging technologies, such as DJS Antibodies, Samsara Therapeutics, Helio Display Materials, OxDx on their journey to success.”