Cardiff University acquires site for life sciences campus

Cardiff University has acquired a prime ten acre site next to the University Hospital of Wales for a major new biomedical and life sciences campus.

WalesOnline reports the site on Agnes Road in the Gabalfa area of Cardiff has been acquired from Telereal Trillium. It is currently occupied by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

While detailed plans have yet to be confirmed, the university said the site would be used for the development of its College of Biomedical and Life Sciences with a focus on new teaching and research and development facilities, as well as encouraging the creation of more spinout firms.

The strategic site will become available in 2021, when about four hundred DWP back office and benefit processing staff move to a new DWP headquarters for South Wales at Nantgarw.

The new 132,000 sq ft building, subject to planning consent, will be developed by Cardiff-based property development firm Rightacres Property.

DWP staff at offices in Newport, Cwmbran, Merthyr and Caerphilly, will also relocate to the new HQ, where there is also the potential for hundreds of new jobs being created.

In an off market deal Cardiff University was advised by commercial property specialists, Cooke & Arkwright on the acquisition of the freehold interest.

DWP will remain in its offices, which extend to around 135,000 sq ft, under a new three year lease until 2021. The lease will be managed by Telereal Trillium.

Mark Kelly, director of sales and development at Telereal Trillium said “We are delighted to have reached an agreement on the sale of the Gabalfa site that suits all parties; facilitating DWP’s future move and opening up exciting possibilities for the development of new facilities at the University’s College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, which will retain the site’s profile as a place of employment.”

Dev Biddlecombe, director of estates and campus facilities at Cardiff University, said “This long-term strategic acquisition will enable us to build upon the world leading research and teaching in our College of Biomedical and Life Sciences.”

Michael Lawley, chairman of Cardiff-based Cooke & Arkwright, said “We are very pleased to have advised on what was a complex and delicate transaction to acquire this significant and strategic site for the University. The planned investment in this facility is excellent news for Wales.”

The value of the land deal has not been disclosed.

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