Science Minister breaks ground for Milton Park’s £40m Nebula development

Science Minister breaks ground for Milton Park’s £40m Nebula development

The £40m Nebula development at Milton Park will provide high-tech R&D and office spaces to support the UK’s goal of becoming a science and technology superpower by 2030. The project broke ground with a ceremony attended by Science Minister Andrew Griffith.

The 80,000 sq ft development will combine high-tech, flexible R&D spaces with offices, in support of the UK’s ambition to become a scientific and tech superpower by 2030. Once complete, Nebula will offer stellar move-on space for science, technology and advanced engineering companies.

Attendees from the Milton Park team, construction firm Barnwood Limited and Park occupiers contributed lab and tech equipment to a ‘science superpower’ themed time capsule buried at the ceremony.

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, Science Minister Andrew Griffith MP, visited Milton Park occupiers for a tour around Evotec and Immunocore’s labs.

Science Minister Andrew Griffith said: “Breaking ground at Milton Park’s Nebula development today is a tangible step in the future of scientific and technological advancement in the UK.

“This state-of-the-art facility will facilitate those achieving breakthroughs from engineering to life sciences, support skilled jobs here in Oxfordshire, and enhance the UK’s position as a science superpower.”

Philip Campbell, Commercial Director at MEPC Milton Park, commented: “It was a real privilege to welcome Minister Griffith to Milton Park to mark the official launch of our stellar Nebula project.”

Kathryn Andrew, Development Manager at MEPC Milton Park, said: “Nebula will enable Milton Park’s occupiers to scale quickly when their innovation begins to skyrocket. We’re looking forward to providing more updates on the development’s progress over the coming year.”

Construction of the scheme’s seven buildings, ranging from 6,000 to 13,000 sq ft, will see the substructure, structural frame and envelope delivered before the internal fit-out and finishing touches, with completion expected in Winter 2024.

Nebula’s occupiers will benefit from a £7m infrastructure investment to enhance the Park’s energy capacity, purchased by MEPC on a green tariff. The buildings’ 8m internal roof height will allow for greater flexibility for occupiers with larger space requirements.

Each building will feature sustainably sourced glue-laminated timber (glulam) in lieu of steel, significantly reducing levels of embodied carbon. The exposed glulam beams will be visible inside the building, with Nebula’s vaulted ceilings allowing science and technology companies to operate large-scale laboratory or engineering equipment, accommodating or occupiers in growing industries such as the UK’s space sector.

Nebula is expected to meet BREEAM ‘Excellent’ sustainability standards – the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for infrastructure and building – and will target an A-rating Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), the top band for building energy efficiency.

Plans for Nebula were submitted for approval to the Vale of White Horse District Council via the Park’s Local Development Order (LDO), a 10-day LDO which simplifies the planning process and allows developments to be fast tracked.

Working alongside Milton Park and Barnwood Limited as part of the project team are SRA Architects, ASA Landscape Architects, Ridge & Partners LLP (BREEAM, cost management, M&E, principal design, project management), Stantec (civil and structural engineering), William Downie Associates (utilities), Cundall (carbon consultant), CBRE (letting agent) and ProVision (planning).

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