The Necessary Long-Term Building Strategy to be a UK Science Superpower

11 December 2022

Over the next three years, the UK’s science and tech industries are predicted to grow by more than 50%, but it’s operating in a fragile ecosystem.

Despite this forecasted growth, many UK technology and science businesses have their sights set abroad. One in six plan to move, 88% have considered it, and of our largest organisations, 75% are not ruling it out. 

This potential exodus is not a whimsical desire for greener pastures. It’s a response to a lack of necessary resources and infrastructure. 

Long-Term Building Strategy to Make the UK a Science Superpower

Building issues are one of the biggest challenges for the science and tech industries right now. Forty-nine per cent of businesses are worried their premises will not meet their long-term needs, and one-fifth feel their premises need to be more environmentally sustainable and aesthetically attractive.

The UK needs:

Fit-for-purpose facilities

Only 51% of businesses believe their current building will accommodate their future needs. Of smaller companies, only 22% believe this to be true.

Facilities where they’re needed

Thirty-one per cent of businesses say it’s essential to be nearer to a larger talent pool. These facilities need to be built where people prefer to live. Proximity to major academic institutions is also a must.

Modern, unique designs

Facilities aren’t attractive enough. In fact, they’re a barrier to attracting new staff. They all look much the same, and businesses and potential new staff want something better. They want a high-tech space.

Better access to these premises

Twenty-one per cent of science and tech companies are not accessible by public transport, and of those that are, 16% say it’s still not good enough. This impacts their ability to attract lower-paid roles.

More science parks

The science and tech community rely on collaboration to thrive. Thirty-one per cent want to be nearer to others in the sector. The industry prefers science parks for their proximity to other similar businesses and the facilities geared to their industries.

In summation, we need more science parks. They need to be closer to academic institutions and major population hubs. And public transport and facility design must be considered to make commutes and daily work more appealing.

To learn more detailed insights about the state of science and tech in the UK, download Building a Future for Science and Technology here.