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Milton Park lifts lid on buoyant investment for Oxfordshire innovation cluster

Published on 12 July 2022

Milton Park aerial photo. Milton Park is a dynamic and vibrant science, technology and business park in Oxfordshire. To find out more please get in touch with Milton Business Park Oxfordshire.

New research commissioned by Milton Park reveals the scale of investment generated across the science, technology and business community over the past decade.

The findings uncovered by high-growth insights firm Beauhurst show that a total of £2.01b worth of equity investment was raised between 2011 and 2021 across 32 companies located at the Park.

In 2021 alone, £801m of investment was generated, with Immunocore raising £189m, followed by £226m for Exscientia, both of which listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. These figures represent a golden age for life sciences at the Park and beyond, with £619m equity investment secured by Milton Park companies working in life sciences, and £12m in grants awarded since 2011.

The green energy sector has also gone from strength-to-strength at the Park, featuring companies including fusion energy technology firm Tokamak Energy and battery technology specialist Nexeon. A total of £200m equity investment has been secured by Milton Park companies working in the green energy sector while £18.8m worth of grants have also been achieved.

Further analysis shows that of the 42 high-growth companies based at Milton Park, 13 have spun out from academic institutions. The most popular sectors for high-growth companies include pharmaceuticals and technology, featuring established companies OBS Medical and APEM alongside venture stage firms, such as Isansys Lifecare.

The latest figures show that the combined turnover from companies at Milton Park reached £39.6b, while £61.2m of grant funding was secured over the past ten years with 29 companies having received at least one form of grant during this period.

The growing list of achievements by companies based at Milton Park is backed by its long-term plans for sustainable growth. The 2040 Vision sets out plans for how the Park will grow in the next 20 years up to four million sq ft, accommodating for 20,000 people on site. This investment will take the Park from its current position as a leading science and business park to a pioneering research destination and corridor for innovation, all while keeping environmental sustainability front and centre.

Crucial to making this vision a reality, the Milton Park team is working with the Vale of White Horse District Council to refresh the existing Local Development Order, a simplified planning arrangement which positions Milton Park as one of the most supportive and flexible locations for companies to establish and grow.

Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: 

“Milton Park companies can be proud of the significant contribution they have made to the life science and technology sectors over many years - it is a unique facility and a positive one to the area.

“We are pleased to be working with Milton Park to review its existing Local Development Order, which is shortly going out to public consultation; we hope it will further our shared aims to increase the environmental sustainability of the Park for those working there.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive at OxLEP, said:

“The findings in this report demonstrate Milton Park’s impressive contribution towards Oxfordshire’s world-leading innovation cluster.

“The increasing number of high-growth companies we’re seeing across the county are pivotal to ensuring global advances are continued to be made across life sciences, technology and energy while at the same time supporting UK PLC.

“Looking to the future, promoting sustainable economic growth is going to be key to realising the potential of the talent and innovation we’re privileged to have across Oxfordshire – I’m very excited for what lies ahead.”

Philip Campbell, Commercial Director at MEPC Milton Park, said:

“When I first had sight of this report, a common theme was clear: the companies based at Milton Park are trying to make our lives better.

“Whether it’s Evotec making pioneering advances in life-saving drug treatments, Emergex Vaccines developing T-Cell vaccines or Tokamak making strides in fusion energy technology, the cutting-edge work of the Park’s occupiers is evidence that a brighter future lies ahead.

“Milton Park welcomes companies of all sizes, from start-ups and spinouts to existing occupiers, along with new companies that have recently joined us. Through the single ownership of the Park, we’re able to nurture and accommodate our occupiers in support of their ambitious growth journeys.”

Set within the ‘Golden Triangle’ of leading UK universities, companies located at Milton Park gain unrivalled access to an abundance of global-leading skills and talent, while also offering fertile ground for university-spinouts.

For the full report by Beauhurst, follow this link.