Healthcare and Life Sciences

Stevenage – Global Hub for Life Sciences

Stevenage is located within the Golden Triangle for life sciences, made up of London, Cambridge and Oxford, the central cluster of the UK’s dynamic and growing life sciences industry. It is home to the UK’s largest Cell and Gene Therapy cluster and the third largest globally, placing Stevenage on the global arena, as a key innovation partner and a leading destination for future investment. Stevenage supports the UK’s position as the third global hub for life sciences, alongside Boston and San Francisco. The Stevenage Advanced Therapeutics Campus and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre are at the core of the development activities for Cell and Gene therapies and highlight the importance of the global significance of Stevenage’s world-leading science park and capabilities, which are at the centre of Europe’s largest cluster of cell and gene therapy companies.

The Life Sciences Vision

Stevenage’s life sciences offer supports all the core elements of the government’s ambitious 10-year vision for the UK life sciences sector;

> a world class science base and research capabilities
> a dynamic and global life sciences hub
> government and industry working in partnership
> an outstanding business environment.

Stevenage as a destination offers leading-edge research and innovation platforms to research, test, bring to market and commercialise the next generation of discoveries and has directly grown Europe’s leading industry cluster for cell and gene therapies. Key assets in Stevenage provide a globally unique ecosystem for life sciences and health innovation, directly supporting the UK as an investment destination.

Stevenage’s life sciences offer supports the UK’s manufacturing innovation ecosystem, with the development of a world class manufacturing innovation centre, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. This unique facility is a powerhouse of activity and directly supports growth companies to scale-up and accelerate manufacturing investments in the UK. This has resulted in driving the growth of a vibrant and economically powerful innovative system and sector.

World-class science base with outstanding research institutions and businesses 

Located within the Golden Triangle for Life Sciences, Stevenage is well positioned to benefit from the world class medical and scientific research available from four of the world’s top 10 universities, Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London and University College London.

These leading universities, start-up and major multinationals provide a vibrant ecosystem to support the translation of cutting edge innovation.

Stevenage’s life sciences cluster benefits from excellent connectivity, an outstanding business environment, with a world class science base and research capabilities and a dynamic and global life sciences hub, supporting a highly skilled workforce

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Stevenage has been home to GSK, one of the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical companies and one of its two global R&D hubs, since 1995. Stevenage is a key location for GSK, employing world-class scientists and driving cutting-edge innovation. GSK’s R&D activities contribute directly to the UK’s position as the largest cell and gene therapy cluster and the third largest globally. Stevenage provides the global headquarters for GSK in the UK and supports the global healthcare company with researching, developing and supplying innovative medicines, vaccines and healthcare products.

GSK invest around £1bn in research and development (R&D) in the UK annually. Their global R&D hub at Stevenage is at the heart of the development of its pipeline of vital medicines, focusing on the immune system, genetics, and advanced technologies. GSK are pioneers in developing the first treatment for HIV, new treatments for asthma and the world’s first malaria vaccine candidate. GSK are also a major partner in the development of the UK’s first innovation bioscience campus at Stevenage and are at the heart of the life sciences and health innovation eco-system.

Galvani Bioelectronics – Pioneering R&D

Stevenage is also home to Galvani Bioelectronics, a joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK’s) and Verily, the life sciences arm of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, combining GSK’s life sciences knowledge and Verily’s expertise in software and electronics to support the pioneering research, development and future development and commercialisation of bioelectronics medicine to treat chronic disease.

Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst – UK’s first Open Innovation Bioscience Campus

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is at the heart of the largest cell and gene therapy cluster. The Catalyst was jointly funded (£38Mn) by BEIS, GSK, Wellcome Trust and Innovate UK (formerly TSB) to form the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, providing a leading location for development and commercialisation of cutting-edge therapeutics. It opened in 2012 and is co-located with GlaxoSmithKline’s UK R&D facility. Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst supports an entrepreneurial hub for life sciences and is part of a vibrant ecosystem based on interaction and collaboration, created to bring academia, biotech and pharma companies together to drive advances in healthcare research, pioneering a new approach to early stage biotech, pharma and medtech developments.

The Catalyst provides small biotech and life sciences companies and start-ups a flexible and supportive working environment to develop products approved for market. This includes access to:

  • incubator and accelerator space to support growth plans
  • specialised expertise and business support services
  • specialised networks to support collaboration actvities
  • a wide array of finance
  • specialist scientific facilities traditionally associated with multinational pharmaceutical companies.

Sectors represented at the Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst include:

  • Therapeutics
  • Diagnostics/Devices
  • Manufacturing/Technology
  • Big data/Analytics
  • Support/Consultancy



  • 4,300 employees Stevenage cluster
  • 40+ Companies
  • £2bn+ funding raised to date
  • 250,000 sq. ft. space



Major organisations located at the campus include GSK, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre, LifeArc, Cytiva, ThermoFisher, Lonza Group, Aglaris Ltd, Autolus, Freeline, Galecto Inc and a growing cluster of start-up companies.


Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst – Lab Hotel

The Lab Hotel provides early-stage start-ups in the field of advanced therapeutics and drug discovery with free lab and office facility plus specialised business support for the first six months. The Lab Hotel supports the translation of early stage research and commercialisation of new products in the UK, further improving the UK’s position as a life science leader.

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is enabling UK to become a world leader in the development of cell and gene therapies

In 2014, The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult announced the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst campus was chosen to deliver a cutting edge Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre. The £55m investment into an independent centre of excellence was to accelerate the development of the UK’s cell and gene therapy industry in the UK and globally. This would speed the transition from scientific research to commercialisation to support Bioscience businesses to manufacture late stage trial and commercial advanced therapeutic medicinal products.

The large-scale GMP manufacturing centre, through collaboration with industry experts across the cell and gene therapy lifecycle, aims to help address the manufacturing challenges faced by therapy developers. This includes providing vital accommodation and access to specialist facilities including The ThermoFisher’s CryoHub, located at the centre offering a complete cryogenic storage, distribution and logistics solution and access to established international supply chains to support manufacturing growth.

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult offers eligible SMEs and spinouts access to its commercial readiness advice clinics providing tailored support from CGT Catapult experts in preparation for industrialisation. As a result, the UK has become a world leader in the development of cell and gene therapies and is home to over 90 ATMP therapy developers.

Market and opportunity

Employed in Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities

Employed in Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities

The life sciences sector is supported by a highly skilled workforce and employs over 256,000, people across the UK and with over 12,900 people employed in AI and Digital health. It has 6,300+ businesses and will be investing over £80bn in R&D funding over the next 10 years.  In 2019, the pharmaceutical industry performed the most R&D in the UK, worth – £4.8 billion. The future of the already highly productive science base is secured by a commitment to increase R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Life sciences employed 13,200 people in Hertfordshire in 2015. There were 330 enterprises in pharmaceutical and life sciences research in 2016. While the sector is dominated by large enterprises, there has been a remarkable growth in the business population, which has risen by 4.1% annually since 2010.

In 2016, a total of 38,800 science, research, engineering and technology professionals worked in Hertfordshire – 50% above the national average, with an additional 10,300 people working as science, engineering and technology associate professionals. There are 2,800 people working in pharmaceuticals and the industry is 4.1 times more important as a local employer than the national average. More people work in pharmaceuticals manufacturing in Hertfordshire than in any other Local Enterprise Partnership area in England. The total number of pharmaceuticals manufacturing jobs is 75% higher than in Greater Cambridgeshire, Greater Peterborough and the Oxfordshire areas combined.

In 2019, a total of 6,000 people in Stevenage worked in Professional, Scientific and Technical activities. In Hertfordshire, the figure was 84,000 for those who worked in Professional, Scientific and Technical activities for the same period.

Economic Impact of Stevenate Biosciences Catalyst

In 2020/21 occupier activities at the Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst contributed an estimated £87m GVA and 1,610 jobs to the UK economy, of which £64m and 1,050 jobs contributed to the local economy. By 2040, there will be 732,000 sq. ft. of available space at the Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst delivering an estimated £165m net GVA and 2,900 jobs to the UK economy of which £96m and 1,510 jobs will be delivered to the local economy.

In addition, conservative estimates for Sycamore House when fully occupied by 2027 will result in £150m gross GVA and 2,800 jobs to the UK economy.

Continued Private and Public Sector Investment

Spark building

In January 2020, the Spark building opened on the Stevenage Advanced Therapies Campus to meet the needs of rapid growth of scale up businesses within Stevenage’s world class cell and gene cluster to support advanced cell and gene therapy treatments with the potential to cure cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) provided investment of £1.2m from the Local Growth Fund.

Sycamore House

Kadans Science Partner, a specialist R&D sector property developer in collaboration with Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst is supporting further growth from the Catalyst and Catapult, by providing additional start-up space and growth space for scale-up and mature companies, including high quality office and lab space, along with a supportive eco-system of support services.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) awarded CGT Catapult £3.36m 

In July 2018, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) awarded CGT Catapult £3.36m in funding to support the expansion of the manufacturing centre, to provide additional support for growing cell and gene therapy companies. The additional space and support enabled the CGT Catapult to engage further with UK businesses and accelerate their progress towards commercialisation.

Targeted public sector investments including support for the infrastructure and capabilities of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, and through collaboration has led the UK advanced therapies industry to triple in size in the last five years. The UK is now the largest advanced therapies cluster in Europe and a leading global cluster.

Future Growth in Jobs and Skills

The Science Industry Partnership has identified the sector has the potential to create around 133,000 jobs, through replacement and growth by 2030. This would translate in future skills development in digital, computational and statistical literacy and translation and commercial skills to support the sector make the most of the UK’s world-leading science and research base. This will directly impact Stevenage, with a number of life sciences assets and ambitions, along with the ongoing public and private sector investment.

GSK to create Europe’s largest life sciences campus in Stevenage “fostering the next generation of world-class scientists and biotechnology firms in Britain”

GSK recently announced plans to transform their existing 92-acre Research & Development site in Stevenage into one of Europe’s largest ‘clusters’ for biotechnology and other early-stage life science companies . They reported they would be selling 33 acres at the site to unlock £400m to build the campus and create up to 5,000 jobs. The new campus could deliver 100,000 square metres of new floor space for commercial life sciences research and development; attract additional world-class research organisations to Stevenage; create further collaboration opportunities in the already established unique life science ecosystem.

GSK’s vision for the new campus has been developed in partnership with Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK Government, Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Autolus Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: AUTL)

Autolus Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: AUTL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation programmed T cell therapies after are building the Company’s new 70,000 square foot facility manufacturing facility in Stevenage, UK. Autolus is a significant contributor to the Cell and Gene Therapy cluster formed around Stevenage and was the first company to enter the CGT Catapult’s manufacturing centre to collaborate in the centre, to manufacture their pipeline of T-cell products for the treatment of cancer patients. Autolus has significantly supported the vision for the manufacturing centreánd are one of five collaborators to have established their large-scale manufacturing operations at the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre in Stevenage. The new manufacturing facility in Stevenage will support additional investment in the life sciences sector to Stevenage, enhancing Stevenage’s position as a major employer in the sector and complement existing activities at the GSK Campus, with a life science district at the heart of Stevenage town centre.The development will unlock existing infrastructure to introduce and deliver new employment space for one of Stevenage’s strongest growth sectors.


Its strategic road, rail and air links makes Stevenage a highly attractive and accessible location for the Life Sciences sector. It is has excellent connectivity to London, Cambridge and Oxford, the rest of the UK, Europe and the world. Its excellent transport infrastructure provides you with global connectivity. Stevenage is located between J7 and J8 on the A1 (M) providing great connectivity north and south. It is well served by major road networks from London (including the M25, M1, A1(M) and A10 motorways. Stevenage is situated on the main East Coast London to Edinburgh railway line with direct services to London, Cambridge, Peterborough, Leeds, York and Glasgow Central, to provide fast and easy travel across the UK.  Stevenage mainline railway station provides a fast and frequent service to London Kings Cross.  Stevenage also boasts easy access to 3 international airports, all within 45 minutes’ drive.

Area Incentives

In 2020, the Stevenage Advanced Therapies Campus was awarded Life Sciences Opportunity Zone Status by the Office for Life Sciences. This special designation will support ts profile at a national and international level and help to attract additional investment from national and international businesses linking research and business expertise to deliver jobs, drive economic growth and improved health based on the UK’s expertise in life sciences.

The special zone status also highlights the opportunities lab space, land to build new facilities and links with higher education available at the Stevenage Advanced Therapies Campus.

High Potential Opportunity

The Department for International Trade has designated the Stevenage Cluster as location of High Potential Opportunity in recognition of its thriving cell and gene therapy cluster of national and international significance. The High Potential Opportunity status will further promote the cell and gene therapy clustered centred in Stevenage to a global market to attract further opportunities for growth.

Skip to content