Cheshire East confirms £5m investment in Alderley Park


Cheshire East Council has agreed to contribute £5m to an investment fund set up to attract businesses and jobs to Alderley Park, demonstrating its commitment to the transformation of the site through the work of Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP).

With match investment already confirmed from both AstraZeneca and MSP, it is anticipated the £15m programme will provide venture capital funding to encourage SMEs and start-ups to locate at Alderley Park and provide incentives to existing businesses to expand and develop.

It is also expected that the financial commitment by the partners will encourage further investment from the private sector.

An independent appraisal has indicated that the fund could deliver about 2,600 new jobs at the parkland site and will be integral to the £18 million investment programme planned by Manchester Science Partnership which is designed to generate at least 7,000 new jobs, chiefly around the bioscience industry.

The Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Michael Jones, said: "Once again the Council is demonstrating its unwavering commitment to securing a sustainable future for Alderley Park through the continued delivery of new jobs and new businesses.

"We commend both AstraZeneca and MSP for their commitment to this shared goal and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure that Alderley Park delivers as a world-class science park at the heart of both the local and regional economy."

Manchester Science Parks, who with majority shareholder Bruntwood acquired the 400 acre site in March from former owners AstraZeneca, who will continue to have a presence at Alderley Park.

There are currently 71 companies located on site who employ 281 staff between them.

What do you think about the Council investing £5m in the fund, do you think it is the best use of taxpayers money or not? Share your views via the comment box below.

Alderley Park, AstraZeneca, Bruntwood, Cheshire East Council, Manchester Science Parks


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Terry Roeves
Saturday 20th September 2014 at 11:39 am
When Wilmslow residents have to clean the streets and our winter green bin service is reduced, why does a conservative majority council behave like socialists? They bring private enterprise towards state control.

Alderley Park can thrive without our taxes being spent there. When do CEC get our money back? What is the interest rate? Does CEC hold shares?
This is very wrong IMO. Councils should leave private enterprise alone.

Councils have no understanding of innovation or what it takes to develop a successful business. They have plenty on their plate selling off land assets that should never have been bought in the first place.

Again an example of a council interfering with private enterprise. Socialism? More like Communism!
Saturday 20th September 2014 at 12:52 pm
CE has "invested" - rather the residents of CE have provided the money for our council to invest in this "enterprise", which is not without risk. Secondly, they have not made it clear whether this has been done directly through the Council, which is answerable to residents, or through their "arms length company" - namely the "Engine of the North" which has been allowed to take over the running of various assets. If it is the latter then this company is only answerable to the Council and not directly to residents. All in all I don't want the money I provide to the Council for "services" to be used for things which are in no way related to service provision
Pete Taylor
Monday 22nd September 2014 at 10:26 pm
I am sure that there is no need to panic; Michael Jones knows what he is about when it comes to venture capital.
Simon Worthington
Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at 8:13 am
Given the notable lack of business expertise in most politicians (Gordon Brown and the great gold give away - Macc council and the sale of the social housing stock at £6K a piece - do check out Michael Jones as suggested above) councils should be prevented from investing our cash in speculative "job creation" schemes and get on with providing the required services to us - their paymasters.
Barry Buxton
Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at 5:11 pm
Michael Jones knows my views about this! Back in May I emailed him:

"You seem to have got rather carried away with the emotion of last week’s Alderley Park handover event, being quoted as saying "We could maybe get rid of cancer forever, just imagine that and Cheshire East money could go into it". Before you start proposing to Cabinet that Cheshire East taxpayers should sink yet more money into this site rescue attempt, namely contributing to the Alderley Park Springboard Fund, you need to think more deeply about why AstraZeneca are moving their R&D out. Multi-functional co-location in bioscience, or "working in a campus environment to encourage collaboration", requires close proximity to medical schools, hospitals, research institutes and academia. AstraZeneca Cambridge will have it, the new Manchester Airport MediPark will have it and the new UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation in London will have it. Alderley Park has none of this critical requirement."

The outcome is a disgraceful disregard for risk with public money.