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ARC Oxford unveils next generation 'Ascent' development

Above: CGI of 'Ascent' at ARC Oxford (courtesy ARC and Spratley & Partners)

ARC Oxford has secured planning permission to demolish seven buildings at the city campus and develop a new state-of-the-art facility for the science, technology and innovation sector.

‘Ascent’ has been designed to accelerate innovation and once operational, is estimated to create approximately 500 jobs and contribute £38 million GVA to the economy annually.

The new 105,000 sq. ft lab ready development will have best-in-class features, including a rooftop lounge, wellness spaces, gym and end-of-trip facilities and will become home to some of the leading science and technology companies tackling pressing global challenges.

Construction will commence later this year, and once complete, will see Ascent sitting at the heart of the Oxford’s innovation cluster, surrounded by 30 pioneering organisations including OMass Therapeutics, which is identifying new medicines against highly validated but inadequately drugged targets and Ivy Farm which is leading the UK’s cultivated meat revolution.

Ascent’s design developed by architects Spratley & Partners has sustainability and wellbeing at its heart.

The building will surpass Oxford City’s sustainable policies with a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating, it will deliver a 40% reduction in operational carbon emissions compared to current building regulations and it will achieve Fitwel certification meaning it’s enhanced to support the wellbeing and health of its occupants.

The landscaping around Ascent designed by MacGregor Smith has also been carefully considered, to enable mature trees to be retained and will see the introduction of ‘meaningful greening’ leading to improved biodiversity, sustainable drainage systems and a new green biodiverse roof that will adapt to climate change.

Dan Williams, ARC Oxford’s Director of Asset Management, said: “We’re delighted to have secured planning permission for Ascent. This transformational project designed from the ground will provide a new home for businesses of all types including leading science and tech organisations.

This latest development at ARC Oxford further supports our mission in attracting world class talent, driving economic growth, and fostering continuous support for the innovation ecosystem in the city.”

Sam George, Director at Spratley & Partners, added: “Ascent is a great opportunity for us to contribute to ARC's vision for the Campus and to address the pressing demand for state-of-the-art life science facilities in Oxford. Our design aims to meet current needs and contribute positively to the future of the local economy and community.”

ARC Oxford is part of ARC’s network of clusters, including Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, ARC West London and ARC Uxbridge. In 2023 ARC’s Oxfordshire campuses accounted for over half of all laboratory market take up across the county.

ARC Group will be joining Future Cities Forum's 'Science Cities' discussions at Jesus College Oxford this June.


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