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MEPC is delighted to announce that 101 & 102 Park Drive at Milton Park in Oxfordshire are now fully let on a multi-tenant basis to six companies, and will house more than 360 staff.  The speculative office development of two buildings totalling 55,000 sq ft was built at a cost of £15 million in 2014 and provided the only new Grade A accommodation in Oxfordshire.

The buildings, located at the heart of Milton Park in the Science Vale UK Enterprise Zone, are completed to a high quality energy efficient specification.  They were the first offices to be built in an Enterprise Zone since the Government launched the concept in 2012, to help foster innovation and skills to drive economic growth in clusters of scientific and engineering excellence.

The occupiers have come from a wide range of industries and involve some significant inward investments into Oxfordshire, attracted by the quality of the buildings and the skills base in the region.

102 Park Drive has been leased in its entirety to Ipsen, which is a global pharmaceutical company with 4,600 employees worldwide.  

The whole building totals 27,000 sq ft and will house R&D specialists as part of its growth strategy to become a leader in speciality healthcare solutions for targeted debilitating diseases. Ipsen will fit out its new building for laboratory and office space and move in 2016.

101 Park Drive has been leased in suites: on the ground floor, Benchmark International, a company sales specialist with offices in the UK and US, has expanded its office network to establish a southern headquarters to complement its UK HQ in Greater Manchester.  Its new space is located next to Commerce Decisions, a provider of best practice procurement knowledge, expert services, and the AWARD software solution to help customers in the UK and overseas “Get procurement right first time”, which moved in the Summer 2014.

Italian Wines & Beverages Limited, which is the UK agent for Fratelli Martini which is based in Piemonte, North West Italy, and is the third largest winery in the country, has taken space on the first floor.  Fratelli Martini is the producer of the very successful Canti Prosecco.

The remaining space has been let to two existing Milton Park occupiers: Immunocore, which is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, with a highly innovative immuno-oncology platform technology called ImmTACs, has taken space on the first floor.  Founded in 2008 originally out of Oxford University, today it has more than 165 staff and leases more than 90,000 sq ft on Milton Park.

The second floor has been let to Adaptimmune, which is at the forefront of global interest in using the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.  The company is focused on novel cancer immunotherapy products and also has R&D facilities at 91 Park Drive bringing its total occupation on Milton Park to nearly 40,000 sq ft.  Adaptimmune has grown to over 150 staff in the UK and US, and completed a successful IPO on NASDAQ in May.

James Dipple, chief executive officer, MEPC Ltd said:  “101 & 102 Park Drive development was commissioned when the economy was emerging from the recession and reflected a bold decision to commit to a speculative project at an early stage of the recovery.  

We were convinced that this scheme was going to be very successful as a result of the unique combination of a high quality product at one of the country’s leading science and technology campuses, coupled with a level of service and surrounding environment that is complementary to occupiers’ business needs.”
Dipple added:  “As a result of the success in letting the 101 and 102 development we have received a number of expressions of interest in other new buildings.  We believe this has been triggered by the catalytic effect the scheme has had at Milton Park.  It was significant in cementing the Park as the most dynamic business location in the region.  We are now busy working on several projects to meet demand for space, and further significant new investment is being planned for 2015 and beyond.”

James Thornton, chief operations officer, Benchmark International said:  “After an extensive feasibility study, we agreed on Milton Park as part of our expansion plans and it is now our southern UK headquarters.  Our sustained growth and expansion is exciting for everyone involved and our plans to continue the momentum of this success calls for Benchmark International to establish a southern presence, which will allow us to better serve our current and future clients.  Milton Park will be a key element to Benchmark International’s growth strategy in 2015/16 and it is a shared belief between all our shareholders that 101 Park Drive is the perfect property for our continued expansion.  The property perfectly fits our requirements and brand identity.”

Philip Campbell, commercial director, MEPC Milton Park said:  “It’s great that these two buildings have been fully let to pioneering businesses in both the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and also those that have expanding businesses which see the benefit of being part of a very strong business community in the Enterprise Zone.  We concluded the deals at 101 and 102 because our site-based team is focused on really understanding our customers and tailoring lease packages to suit their needs in this technologically advanced market.  We welcome them all and their many staff and do look forward to ensuring that their experience at Milton Park is highly productive.”

The terms of the deals are confidential.  The quoting rent for 101 & 102 Park Drive ranged from £25.00 per sq ft, to £27.00 per sq ft. Knight Frank and Carter Jonas acted on behalf of MEPC.

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