Plans to create a major new science and innovation district that will double the space at Begbroke Science Park are going ahead.

A funding deal with Legal and General has been agreed, which will lead to a detailed planning application and construction of the buildings.

L&G with the University of Oxford will extend the existing science park across a neighbouring 14-hectare site.

It is intended to add additional research and innovation facilities and create new high value, highly skilled jobs.

The first phase of the scheme will include new teaching facilities for Oxford University’s Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences departments, as well as providing space for spin-out companies.

The university is already in discussions with organisations potentially interested in renting space.

Future phases will develop 2,000 new homes with a mix of affordable properties and subsidised key worker accommodation.

The masterplan is to create a ‘live/study/work’ environment with a hotel, restaurant, bars, cafes, shops, educational, community and sports facilities.

The new Begbroke innovation district forms part of the university’s £4billion development partnership with Legal and General and is being advanced by Oxford University Development Ltd (OUD), a joint venture company set up by the two partners.

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The university’s long-term aspiration to develop a new innovation district around Begbroke Science Park was set out in its Strategic Plan for 2018-23.

The next stage is finalising the planning consent.

The university already has outline planning permission to build on the site so only a ‘reserved matters’ application, covering areas not dealt with in the original outline planning permission, is needed.

OUD intends to submit this application this autumn and to receive planning consent in early 2022, enabling work to begin on site later that year with completion targeted for early 2024.

Dr David Prout, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Oxford, said: “We are delighted that this project is going ahead as part of our JV partnership with Legal and General.

"It will provide much needed expansion space for academic research and also for University spinouts and commercial collaborators.

"It will double the amount of space in the Science Park and form the first phase of a larger commercial, academic and residential development.”

Nigel Wilson, chief executive at Legal & General, added: “We are extremely proud of our partnership with the University of Oxford, which in the wake of Covid-19 will help retain talent in the city, whilst driving essential inward investment and providing opportunities for world-leading innovation, as well as much needed housing for key workers.

“Investments such as this are creating virtuous cycle whereby pensions and savings are used to create positive social, environmental and economic outcomes which are in line with our commitment to Inclusive Capitalism.”