The Master of Trinity, Sir Gregory Winter, broke ground on the £20 million John Bradfield Centre at Cambridge Science Park today, a year to the day that the collaboration between the College and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills was launched.
Named after Trinity’s former Senior Bursar, Sir John Bradfield, the Centre will incubate science and tech entrepreneurs to help their businesses flourish. It builds on the legacy of Sir John, who played a pivotal role in the founding of Cambridge Science Park 46 years ago.
Central Working, the collaborative workspace provider, will manage the three-storey, 40,000 sq ft building, which is due to open in spring 2017 with space for more than 500 innovators.
Sir Gregory, who is a successful scientific entrepreneur, said the Centre’s supportive environment would be a key benefit for innovators:
Many science start-up companies have their roots in academic departments in Cambridge. But there are limits to the support and space that academic departments can give to spinning out ideas and technologies for commercial application.
There has always been space for small companies on the Science Park but in the John Bradfield Centre we aim to offer more than space. We aim to provide a nurturing commercial environment for translating science into successful companies, and for turning scientists into successful entrepreneurs.
With £4.8 million from the Department for Business, Innnovation & Skills (BIS), and co-funding from Trinity College more than doubling this investment, the Centre has already attracted the interest of entrepreneurs and investors, including Trinity alumni. Representing the Bradfield family were Bob and Sarah Bradfield. Mick Lazarus, of the Cities & Local Growth Unit at BIS, also attended.
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:
This new centre builds on Trinity College’s great history of scientific discovery and will help to create new jobs locally. The Government’s support is another signal of our commitment to protect the UK’s world-class science base and ensure we are the best place in Europe to innovate.
With the new train station nearby linking to London’s King’s Cross and beyond, and ideally located at the heart of Cambridge Science Park, the John Bradfield Centre is set to become a focal point for entrepreneurial activity in Greater Cambridge. Galvanising that growth will be Central Working’s Jon Bradford, who launched the innovative Techstars London programme.
James Layfield, CEO of Central Working, which runs six other workspaces in the UK, said:
Central Working has a proven track record of providing a nurturing, supportive environment to the UK’s most exciting growing companies, and we’re delighted to partner with Trinity College on this state-of-the-art business growth hub. By combining Central Working’s expertise and the direction of Jon Bradford, we will catalyse development of the John Bradfield Centre and have a real chance of uncovering the UK’s next unicorn business.
Architect Aukett Swanke’s design includes flexible workspace with social hubs and breakout areas connected by a triple-height atrium along the water’s edge. SDC Builders Ltd will construct the John Bradfield Centre, which is being project managed by Bidwells on behalf of Trinity and working with the Greater Cambridge Geater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership.