A planning application that will create at least 600 additional jobs in Swindon has been submitted to Swindon Borough Council.
The proposals by Wasdell Properties for the high quality, sustainable Swindon Science Park will deliver much-needed facilities for R&D and high-tech manufacturing, as well as meeting Wasdell Group’s own requirements for growth.
Wasdell is Europe’s largest independent manufacturing and packaging supplier to the pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare industries. The proposed site for the Science Park is at Inlands Farm, Wanborough, 300 metres south of the New Eastern Villages strategic allocation and just north of junction 15 of the M4.
Science Parks provide space for entrepreneurs, start-ups and academics to create a working environment based on innovation and collaboration to facilitate growth. Companies occupying Science Parks tend to be concerned with R&D within sectors such as development of medicines, biotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.
Swindon Science Park will follow the typical UK model of high-quality, low density green spaces, separated by footpaths, cycle ways and water features. Only 14 per cent of the park will be built area, with eighty-six per cent of the site given over to green sustainable landscaping, screening and planting of native British trees.
The architect-designed buildings will be constructed using the latest technology and materials, with roof mounted solar panels to generate renewable energy and green sedum roofs to promote bio-diversity, air quality and rain water attenuation.
Wasdell employs more than 800 people in the UK, including scientists, doctors, packaging designers, administrators, quality controllers and packers. Around 650 of those employees are based in Swindon. New contracts secured by Wasdell means the number of production lines available needs to increase substantially.
The new facility will further benefit the Swindon and Wiltshire economy, creating at least 600 additional local jobs at all skills levels at Wasdell within a year of opening, with further increases in jobs as the Science Park develops. More than 230 suppliers based within 10 miles of Swindon also provide goods and services to Wasdell Group.
It is proposed that the first element of the Wasdell facility will become operational in 2021, with the remainder of Swindon Science Park becoming operational over the subsequent four years.
Wasdell has invested heavily in manufacturing excellence and innovation since Martin Tedham brought the company to Swindon in 2010, which has led to an increase in turnover from £2m to £42m during that period.
Wasdell was included in the 2018 Sunday Times’ Profit Track 100 – the definitive list of Britain’s best private companies with the fastest-growing profits – and with 55.5 per cent annual profit growth was the only Swindon-based company to make the list.
CEO Martin Tedham, whose family home is in the borough of Swindon and whose children work in the company, said:
“The Government recognises the crucial role that the life sciences industries must play in UK PLC, and there are considerable opportunities for our local and regional economy if as a town we embrace the life sciences and collaborate on R&D and investment.
“Our neighbours in Reading, Oxford, Bath and Bristol are already reaping substantial rewards through making the sciences an economic and employment priority.
“With the national research councils on our doorstep, and Heathrow less than an hour away, Swindon is perfectly placed to grow its hi-tech, science-based industries too.
“I am confident that Swindon will rise to this challenge and prove itself to be a leader in this field, and that Swindon Science Park can play a major part in this.”
The planning application was submitted on behalf of Wasdell Properties by Turley, and the land agents for Swindon Science Park are Webb Paton.