Over a period of 20 years Scottish Enterprise (SE) had invested in buildings and infrastructure at their two science parks in Aberdeen; the Science & Technology Park and the Science & Energy Park. A range of buildings and accommodation sizes had been provided in a high quality environment for technology companies from start-up to maturity. Home to over 100 companies and around 2,000 people, the parks were playing an important role in the Aberdeen economy. The challenge for SE was how to secure further investment in communal facilities, additional floorspace for research, training and R&D companies and infrastructure to release additional development land at a time of constrained public sector funding.
The Creative Places team were instructed by (SE) to advise on and achieve the sourcing of a joint venture (JV) partner with experience in the management and development of science parks. Working with SE's professional team, we provided advice on the most appropriate JV structure to deliver to their key objectives. Using cash flow analysis we were able to demonstrate the potential returns to each party. We then took the opportunity to the market through a formal European Journal (OJEU) tender process.
We developed a JV structure that was capable of meeting the public sector goals but which was also attractive to the property investment market, avoiding fragmentation of the estate. Having worked to agree heads of terms on behalf of SE, a JV agreement was concluded with Buccleuch Property. Investment was made into both existing buildings and a new hub facility and given the success of the joint venture SE were able to exit having achieved their goals. Critical to the success of the project was our work to understand what was needed to make the parks even more successful and the key outcomes required by the client.