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Masterplan for Stone Hill Park

Masterplan for Stone Hill Park

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Manston airport could become life science manufacturing centre

Masterplan for Stone Hill Park

Masterplan for Stone Hill Park

Stone Hill Park, the business park proposed for the former Manston airport site, could become the manufacturing home for life science companies outgrowing Discovery Park, Sandwich.

The proposed mixed use development, which would also feature 2,500 homes, recreational facilities and parkland, would be a natural next step for companies expanding and outgrowing their labs in nearby Discovery Park in Sandwich.

Both the science park and former airport are owned by Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, who also own Wynyard Park in Tees Valley and Colworth Park in Bedfordshire. The entrepreneurs took over Discovery Park in 2011 after Pfizer announced that it was cutting its activities at the site, costing hundreds of jobs.

To begin with the business park accommodated numerous spin off start-up companies from Pfizer, with many redundant scientists deciding to work together and to continue the research they had done with the global drugs company. Now nearly five years later it is home to 125 companies.

In the coming years many of those initial research companies will be nearing the manufacturing stage, and will require larger premises than are available at Discovery Park. The owners see the Stone Hill Park development as the next property step for the research companies to ensure they don’t move outside of Kent.

Discovery Park managing director Paul Barber said: “Stone Hill Park could be a natural extension to Discovery Park.

“While this site is positioned for research and development, some of our firms have aspirations to move into manufacturing one day.

“When they get to that stage, we need larger buildings and an obvious place for them would be Stone Hill Park. It is only up the road and has a lot of land.”

Developing Stone Hill Park and creating manufacturing space for companies to move into would also create more space at Discovery Park. The site has nearly let all of its refurbished lab space and has now begun updating the 250,000sqft Building 500. The project is so large the renovation is being done in 50,000sqft chunks - the first of which is due to be finished very soon.

At its present rate of occupation, it is predicted that Discovery Park could be full within two to three years.

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Locate in Kent would like to thank - Canterbury Christ Church University, Discovery Park, Frogmore, Kent County Council, Liberty Property Trust UK, London Array, Medway Council, Thanet Earth, University of Kent and Visit Kent - for the use of their images on this website.