British Land plans large life sciences hub at Canada Water scheme

The Paper Yard modular building (on the right) completes in May 2023  (British Land)
The Paper Yard modular building (on the right) completes in May 2023 (British Land)

Property giant British Land has unveiled plans for a huge new life sciences hub at its Canada Water scheme in Docklands.

Details of the 300,000sq ft property that could be used by life science occupiers comes as British Land nears completion in May of its Paper Yard building, comprising 30,000sq ft of modular lab space at the same site.

British Land and fund manager AustralianSuper, its joint venture partner on the Canada Water masterplan, have appointed architect Stanton Williams to draw up the latest proposals.

It is hoped the scheme would be submitted for approval in spring next year and would sit within a 53-acre regeneration site where offices, shops and 3000 homes are set to be developed.


Companies involved in genetics, biochemistry and biotechnology are among those that could be attracted to the location.

Emma Cariaga, joint head of Canada Water at British Land, said the area benefits from being in close proximity to three leading teaching and research hospitals, Guy’s Hospital in London Bridge, St Thomas’ Hospital in Waterloo and King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill.

Cariaga told the Evening Standard: “The UK life sciences sector has seen rapid expansion with demand for lab space continuing to outstrip supply, particularly from start-ups and scale-ups who typically seek pre-fitted quality accommodation in well-connected locations.”

She added: “Physical workspace remains essential for life science occupiers on account of the technicality of their requirements – high-specification facilities that cannot be substituted with remote working.”

The move to invest further in life sciences space come a week after the Government launched a plan to “cement the UK’s place as a science and technology superpower by 2030”. A new framework features 10 actions, including boosting private and public investment in research and development for economic growth and better productivity.