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Edinburgh BioQuarter begins search for partner to realise expansion plans


Edinburgh BioQuarter has issued a prior information notice (PIN) in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) signalling its intention to launch a procurement process to deliver a world-leading Health Innovation District for Edinburgh. A virtual bidders’ day for interested parties to learn more is planned for 1 September 2020.

BioQuarter is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, one of the top 20 universities in the world, Scotland’s second largest health board, NHS Lothian, the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Enterprise.

The 167-acre site lies just three miles south of Edinburgh city centre and currently 8,000 people work and study within its boundary. Today, it comprises many award-winning life sciences businesses based at NINE, its Innovation Centre, the globally renowned Edinburgh Medical School, many of the University of Edinburgh’s world-leading research institutes and the 900-bed Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The vision is a £1 billion transformation to create Edinburgh’s Health Innovation District, a new and vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood, ultimately supporting a community of more than 20,000 people.  It will include commercial labs and offices as well as residential housing, cafes, bars, restaurants, hotel, retail and leisure. A fly-through video of the proposed development has been released to coincide with the launch of the PIN.

The PIN is notification of the BioQuarter partners’ search for a partner to invest in and accelerate plans for the 61 acres of developable land.  So far over £500 million of capital has been invested at BioQuarter, with a further £330 million of capital investment planned for the next five years for buildings, infrastructure, and specialist equipment.

Scotland’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee, said: “There has never been a greater spotlight on life sciences and Edinburgh BioQuarter is already proving to be a world class location at the heart of this industry.

“The planned expansion of the BioQuarter into a vibrant community centred around the sector is undoubtedly one of the most exciting investment and collaborative opportunities available It will have far-reaching benefits for investors, local communities and global health innovators alike, which will be all the more important as we plan our economic recovery from Covid-19.”

Edinburgh BioQuarter Interim Programme director Anna Stamp said: “The commercial life sciences, data-driven health innovation and biomedical sectors are crucial to the global economy. BioQuarter is one of very few locations in Europe which offers the combination of globally ranked academic and clinical research at scale with the space to accommodate a large cluster of commercial companies and associated services, as well as residential housing to create a vibrant community.

“We are currently consulting with the community on revising our masterplan and placemaking strategy as we develop our requirements for a new partner to be part of this opportunity. Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, our intention is to gather information through an online questionnaire and to host a virtual bidders’ day in September.”

During the PIN process, interested parties may submit questions via the secure Q&A facility on Public Contracts Scotland.