South Cambridgeshire District Council acquires 296 Cambridge Science Park
Date of Article
Sep 10 2020

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@ Will Rooke
William Rooke 
Partner - Head of Eastern Commercial
01223 326815 email me about William Rooke

William Rooke is an investment and commercial development property specialist.

Three career highlights: 

  • Land assembly in central Cambridge for 316 room student housing scheme.
  • Acquisition of vacant office building in North Cambridge for £1m and subsequent letting and Asset Management to create a £7m investment.
  • Securing planning consent and anchor tenants for a £100m industrial development in the Midlands. 

South Cambridgeshire District Council has acquired 296 Cambridge Science Park from CBRE Global Investors for £7.2 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 5.95%.

The 16,545 sq ft building was constructed in 2003 with accommodation set over two floors. It is let on a new 10-year lease to Cantab Research Ltd, trading as Speechmatics, and produces a passing rent of £536,932 per annum, equating to £32.50 per sq ft.

Cambridge Science Park was established by Trinity College in 1970. The 152-acre site contains 1.7 million sq ft of high technology and laboratory buildings and is now home to over 130 businesses ranging from spin-outs from the University of Cambridge to multinational companies seeking access to the graduates and entrepreneurs from Cambridge’s diverse talent pool.

The acquisition of building 296 is representative of the council’s focus on investing in established and innovative locations. Its portfolio includes 140 Cambridge Science Park, 270 Cambridge Science Park and Colmworth Trade Park.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr John Williams, said: “This is further evidence of our investment strategy being used to support the local economy as we focus on recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic. The income generated by the rent will also help us to protect vital frontline services, like recycling and waste, housing support for vulnerable people and planning. This was a rare opportunity to buy an office building, with tenants in place, in one of the world’s most prestigious science parks that sits right at the heart of one of the UK’s fastest growing economies. It is a positive for us that the premises sit close to home within South Cambridgeshire, and the funds generated by the purchase will contribute towards our savings targets during the next few years.”

Will Rooke, Partner, Carter Jonas, said: “From its inception, Cambridge Science Park has played a pivotal role in championing innovation and supporting the ‘knowledge economy’ that the region has become so famous for. This established park is recognised as a leading technology hub, with a thriving tenant base. Investing in quality locations such as this is in line with South Cambridgeshire District Council’s approach to acquire strategically located opportunities that provide a secure income and good growth prospects and complements the council’s ownership of other properties on the estate.”

Duncan MacLaren of MacLaren and Partners and Jamie Green of Juniper RE acted for CBRE GI.