Hexagon Tower joins BEST Network


Hexagon Tower, the specialist chemical and bio-tech science park located in Blackley, North Manchester, has become part of BEST Network (the Business Environments for Science and Technology Network) - a nationwide portfolio of six science and technology parks assembled by LaSalle Investment Management.

As a member of BEST Network , the 14, 612 m sq Hexagon Tower facility - that offers serviced offices and laboratory accommodation for scientific and technology based business – is now part of a portfolio linked by shared specialist services, access to nationwide facilities and secure communications that will start operating as a single entity on 14 May.

The formation of BEST Network as the largest privately-owned portfolio of science and technology parks in the UK creates cross-network clusters for the UK in some of the UK’s highest growth sectors and priorities of the Government’s industrial strategy, such as energy, IT and agri-science. Together the parks achieve a critical mass likely to be a powerful draw for international occupiers in the science and technology sectors.

Stewart Needham, Facilities Manager at Hexagon Tower, comments: “The launch of BEST Network is fantastic as it will enable Hexagon Tower and its tenants the invaluable opportunity to be part of a wider network of similar businesses that can offer support and shared opportunities.

By offering this added value to current and future tenants makes Hexagon Tower an even more attractive option to future occupiers and will only strengthen what the North West has to offer in terms of scientific and technology facilities, positively encouraging regional investment.”

Spanning the UK from Edinburgh to the South Coast, BEST Network combines well-established clusters for high tech businesses at Edinburgh Technopole, Hexagon Tower in Manchester, Kent Science Park, Langstone Technology Park in Havant and Wilton Centre in Teesside. The sixth member, Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, is an established hub for the agricultural and equine sectors, where a ten-year, £50 million investment programme is under way to create agri-science facilities.

The six members accommodate around 250 tenant companies and 7,500 employees. Major occupiers use a range of spaces from wet labs and pilot-scale manufacturing facilities to greenhouses and data centres.

BEST Network has been assembled by LaSalle as a long-term investment since the acquisition of Kent Science Park in 2002. The majority of parks originated as single-occupier facilities for companies such as ICI, IBM and Shell. The network is in growth mode, with all six parks experiencing rising employee numbers and potential for further acquisitions.

European director at LaSalle, Andrew Bull, comments, “Few businesses work well in isolation. They need support, flexibility and investment from a landlord. Inspiration is vital too and that comes from sharing ideas with other like-minded businesses. Make sure those factors are in place and we’ll be able to turn the great ideas coming out of the UK into great businesses.”

Operating as one entity offers real benefits for tenant businesses and those who wish to engage and work with them:
•    Efficient specialist services and business support shared between locations.
•    An excellent network of business and conference facilities for use by all tenant businesses.
•    Communications networks for Government, universities and sector bodies to engage across multiple locations.
•    Mechanisms for matching public funding with private investment across multiple sites.
•    Achieving a critical mass for presenting the best of the UK’s specialist accommodation to a global market.

The BEST Network website will be live from 14 May and brochures will also be available. New signage for the six parks will be rolled out throughout 2013 and will be seen for the first time when Wilton Centre hosts a national conference of the UK Science Park Association (UKSPA) on 14-15 May.