The creation of state-of-the-art laboratory space will be one of the first parts of the redevelopment of The Clarendon Centre in Oxford city centre.

The new 30,000 sq ft facilities, which include office space, will be used by life science businesses.

Oxford Science Enterprises will develop the high-spec research and develoment space with the Lothbury Property Trust.

Lothbury has owned the Clarendon Centre since its inception in 1985.

It is part of a proposed comprehensive £200 million redevelopment of the 1980s shopping centre.

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A planning application to partly demolish the centre on Cornmarket has now been validated and received by Oxford City Council.

In addition to R&D facilities, plans for the overall 250,000 sq ft site include creating space for student accommodation, offices, retail outlets and restaurants.

The redevelopment is expected to begin this year, pending the necessary approvals, and is expected to be completed during 2024.

Demand for laboratory space is approximately 10 times greater than existing supply, according to Oxford Science Enterprises which has 100 companies in its portfolio.

CEO Alexis Dormandy said: “There is an acute shortage of laboratory and office space that meets the specific requirements of early-stage life science companies in Oxford.

“We believe that the city centre location will prove attractive to new companies and allow fledgling biotechs access to state-of-the-art facilities while remaining close to the University, its entrepreneurs and academics.

"This is an exciting evolution of the space and city centre, bringing new life and opportunities to the high street and local businesses.”

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Oxford Science Enterprises have received an automatic stake in all Oxford University science spinouts since 2015 which is more than 100 businesses founded by over 200 Oxford academics.

Today the businesses are worth over £2billion and have created over 2,000 jobs.

Simon Radford, CEO of Lothbury Investment Management Ltd, welcomed the first letting of the redevelopment project, which is planned to be implemented on a phased basis.

He said: "This is a milestone investment for Lothbury and brings Lothbury's investors into the new and exciting life science and biomedical sectors for real estate.

"The proposed development will comprise four highly sustainable buildings, bringing office, lab and student accommodation into the heart of Oxford city centre.”