Bruntwood SciTech CEO outlines vision for £360m venture
The man at the helm of the UK’s largest science and technology property partnership said the key to economic success is unlocking the potential of the regions.
Phil Kemp is chief executive officer of Bruntwood SciTech, a new joint venture business set up by property company Bruntwood and Legal & General to invest in science and technology property assets across the UK.
The deal was announced in October and has been dubbed the UK’s largest science and tech property partnership.
Over the next decade, the two organisations will plough £360 million into the new joint venture support the creation of 20,000 new jobs.
“The joint venture is all about unlocking growth in the regions,” Kemp, who joined Bruntwood in early 2017 as chief operating officer, told BusinessCloud.
“We want to support the creation of organisations in collaboration with universities.
“We want to attract businesses to locate in our innovation districts and then feed off the talent which comes out of the universities – the whole thing will then work together really well.”
Bruntwood SciTech’s property portfolio is already home to hundreds of science and technology businesses and includes Alderley Park, Manchester Science Park, Circle Square, Innovation Birmingham and Platform building in Leeds.
It currently consists of 1.3 million sq ft of space, with plans to grow that figure to over 6.2 million sq ft in 10 years.
The vision is to develop a science and technology property portfolio worth approximately £2 billion.
“We need to develop the existing assets we’ve got in Manchester, Aldereley Park, Birmingham and Leeds,” Kemp said.
“We can already see a development pipeline that gets us to that £2 billion and we will, over time, invest and grow in those locations to help science and technology businesses scale and grow.”
Kemp stressed that the vision is about much more than simply providing the property.
“The key thing is the support services that we wrap around those businesses – from the boot camp or accelerator approach we have for start-ups all the way through to programmes like Serendip at Innovation Birmingham, which is more aimed at enterprises that need to be challenged on their innovation agenda,” he said.
Kemp has a strong background in technology, having spent 14 years at Nokia where he latterly held the position of vice president, mobile phone services.
He entered the property sector in September 2012 when he was appointed by flexible workspace giant Regus and joined Bruntwood as chief operating officer in early 2017.
As Bruntwood SciTech develops and grows its portfolio of science and technology property assets, Kemp believes the company’s network will become the main attraction for national and international businesses.
“Companies are today attracted by the individual assets that we have,” he said.
“But in the future I foresee that they’ll be attracted by our network because we’ll have multiple locations supporting different areas – whether it be life sciences or pure digital technology.
“The attraction will be for a number of reasons. The cities in which we operate in have a fantastic talent base being produced which brings businesses out to the regions because they know the fight for top talent is a hard fight at the minute.
“They also recognise that there are some great ideas either forming, scaling or growing in our clusters and by being close to that they can accelerate their own capabilities.”