Eden Biodesign

NWDA sells Speke bio centre

The North West Development Agency has sold the National Bio Manufacturing Centre off Speke Road, south Liverpool to its operator and occupier Eden Biodesign for £6.1m.

The site was one of 50 put on the market by the agency as it winds downtowards closure next March.

The NWDA put £30m into the National Bio Manufacturing Centre in 2003.

Eden already had a 25-year lease on the building with an option to buy a 250-year lease at a premium, which it has exercised. Eden is part of Watson Pharmaceuticals, a US corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The sale proceeds from the deal have been reinvested in the Jessica programme, as the property was part of the match for the European Regional Development Fund money for Jessica. Jessica stands for Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas and is an initiative underwitten by the European Investment Bank. The North West Jessica starter pot of £100m was raised from £50m out of the European Regional Development Fund programme and the equivalent of £50m in land from the NWDA.

Despite approval by the NWDA in July, the Jessica programme is still awaiting clearance by its new signatory the Homes & Communities Agency. The Jessica funds must be spent by the end of 2015 or else they will be returned to Europe.

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