Edinburgh BioQuarter expansion plan underway

Renowned Scottish architect, Allan Murray, has been appointed to lead an ambitious masterplanning project to expand Scotland’s flagship life sciences development, Edinburgh BioQuarter.

The appointment, which was made on behalf of Edinburgh BioQuarter partners, Scottish Enterprise, University of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian and Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc, will see Allan Murray Architects launch a public consultation exercise and develop a masterplan to expand the £600 million project which aims to position Edinburgh as one of the world’s top ten hubs for life sciences research and development.

David Leven, business infrastructure team leader at Scottish Enterprise said “This is another exciting milestone in the development of Edinburgh BioQuarter. It is vital that Scotland has a business environment that supports the forecast growth of our life sciences sector and can compete over the long term with other international locations for investment. This next phase will create further opportunity for world-leading clinical, academic and commercial expertise to be concentrated at the BioQuarter and will further enhance its reputation as a global centre of excellence for life sciences."

The appointment of Allan Murray Architects follows the successful resolution of a number of complex property transactions last year between public and private sector organisations which cleared the path for this development and the wider regeneration of south-east Edinburgh.

This next phase of the BioQuarter project will include 100,000 sq m of development capacity for the BioQuarter partners and is expected to be located adjacent to a new private hospital, care home and care village at Edmonstone.

Allan Murray, chief executive of Allan Murray Architects said “We’re delighted to be leading the masterplanning exercise for the expansion of the Edinburgh BioQuarter project. The project team, led by ourselves and supported by GVA, Colin Buchanan and WSP brings over 15 years of architectural experience to help make this project a world-leading success reaping substantial economic benefits for the Scottish economy.”

To date, the BioQuarter has engaged a team of experienced life sciences business professionals and is preparing its first companies for deals with investors, as well as negotiating the first major collaborative agreements with international bio-pharmaceutical companies.

The BioQuarter is home to the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, which is on schedule to open in late 2011, providing one facility for 210 researchers focused on the application of stem cell research to conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and heart disease. In early 2012, Nine, the BioQuarter, will open, offering 10,000 sq m of office and lab space dedicated to start-ups and established life science companies.

Notes to editors

About Allan Murray Architects: Allan Murray Architects have been leading some of Scotland’s most significant and sensitive urban regeneration projects including the proposals for the St. James Quarter and Edinburgh’s new canal quarter masterplan at Fountainpark. The practice has also recently won a number of architectural awards including an RIBA and two Civic Trust awards for the Hotel Missoni. – www.ama-ltd.co.uk

About Edinburgh BioQuarter: At the heart of Scottish life sciences, Edinburgh BioQuarter is a joint venture between Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc, the NHS, the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise. Edinburgh BioQuarter commercialises world-leading medical research and brings investors, ideas and companies together at the BioQuarter campus on the outskirts of Edinburgh. www.edinburghbioquarter.com

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