AstraZeneca Cambridge Site Selected

CBC08:20 Tuesday 18th June 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Some great news for the South of the county this morning. Cambridge’s Biomedical Campus is to be the new global headquarters and research and development hub for the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. About 1600 staff will be relocated to the city from Cheshire. About 300 will be coming up from London. It will also mean that staff at Medlmmune, the firm’s biologics research and protein engineering arm will move from their base south of the city to the campus near Addenbrookes. We can now speak to Dr Robert Winter. He’s the Director of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network. Morning Robert.
ROBERT WINTER: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: A big deal for Cambridge this, isn’t it?
ROBERT WINTER: Absolutely. It’s terrific news, because by locating this facility on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, AstraZeneca will be part of one of the largest bio-tech clusters outside the United States, linked to a population of around 4.8 million across the Eastern Academic Health Science Network.
PAUL STAINTON: It’s great news for that part of Cambridgeshire, but there’ll be other parts of Cambridge that will be slightly disappointed to have missed out.
ROBERT WINTER: Well I think that the decision is very good for AstraZeneca, and I think it’s very good for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, because what it’s doing is it’s bringing together researchers with some of the world’s best scientists and clinicians, and that’s going to be of huge benefit for patients and for discovering new drugs that are going to have a big impact.
PAUL STAINTON: Why Cambridge? Why do you think they want to come here?
ROBERT WINTER: I think Cambridge is pre-eminent. It’s one of the world’s greatest research centres in terms of life sciences and bio-science. It arguably has already a cluster of research institutions on the site, which obviously include the Clinical School of the University of Cambridge, Addenbrookes, and the Rosie. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus also houses the Cancer Research UK, the newly opened Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and hopefully in the near future Papworth will be relocating to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
PAUL STAINTON: Economically, we hear about all these jobs coming to Cambridge, but it’s essentially moving people here. So economically, will it have a major financial impact on the city?
ROBERT WINTER: Well I think it will, because obviously there’s the investment of £330 million into the building. As you’ve already mentioned, about 1,600 people will be relocating here. But as a global centre of bio-science, life sciences, the impact on UK PLC is likely to be huge.
PAUL STAINTON: And in terms of the jobs, what exactly, for those that don’t know AstraZeneca, what do they do?
ROBERT WINTER: I think that what they are planning to do is to bring small molecule and biologics research, so a very substantial research presence, aligned with their headquarters as well. So one’s got a combination of research and industry enterprise there.
PAUL STAINTON: And obviously there’ll be jobs come off the back of this for local people, I would think, as well, won’t there?
ROBERT WINTER: Absolutely.
PAUL STAINTON: There’ll be all sorts of support jobs as well. Thank you Robert, much appreciated. That’s Robert Winter, Director of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network. Some absolutely fantastic news for Cambridge. £330 million worth of investment as they move to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus next to Addenbrookes there. And obviously that will create quite a bit of finance coming into the city, and also some local jobs as well.