Discovery Park (former Pfzier site), Kent
Chris has overseen the major redevelopment of Discovery Park in Kent, in a joint venture with Palmer Capital plc. The site was acquired with vacant possession in 2012 from Pfizer, who opted to reduce production and sell the facility, dropping staff numbers from 8,000 to 600.
The site comprised over 230 acres with 3 million sq ft of buildings, warehouses, GMP, labs and office space. On acquisition, Chris led a stringent plan to diversify the offering and regenerate the site and area. Strong relations were forged with the local authorities and a highly skilled team was brought in to market, manage, demolish and develop the expansive site. Chris also worked very close with Locate in Kent to ‘incubate’ companies wanting to move to Discovery Park.
Educational focussed events were promoted to assist in re-training and re-skilling people who had lost their jobs and had previously worked solely for Pfzier. Students were also invited to use of state-of-the-art laboratories for projects and experiments, and the site was used for educational exhibitions, seminars and workshops. Equipment was donated to local schools and colleges, and students were given access to valuable work experience, helping to shape their careers and, ultimately, inspire future generations.
Following substantial regeneration and investment, within 3 years the site became one of Europe’s leading science, business and technology parks. The site attained 80% occupancy and is home to over 150 companies employing 3,000 people across several sectors with a substantial rental income. The portfolio was sold in a multi-million pound deal in 2017.