Howard Group marks Family Business Week with MP visit to Unity Campus


Cambridge-based property investor and developer Howard Group was delighted to welcome Anthony Browne, Member of Parliament for South Cambridgeshire to Unity Campus on Friday, 26th November.

The visit formed part of numerous activities taking place across the country to mark Family Business Week - a celebration of family business and a chance to recognise the contribution that family businesses make to the UK economy and society.

There are over five million family businesses across the UK employing approximately 14 million people, over 50% of those employed in the private sector, which equates to 40% of the total UK workforce.  In 2019, family businesses contributed £650bn to UK GDP, representing almost 30% of total economic output.

Welcomed to the campus by Nicholas Bewes, CEO, Howard Group, Anthony was given a tour of the existing campus, culminating in a walk-through of the most recently completed building - The Works - home to multiple innovative technology and life science ventures including GetBusy and IONTAS. A short presentation followed, highlighting Howard Group’s proposed second phase of development at the campus. In response to the market demand for agile, flexible science space, Unity Campus Phase 2 will provide an additional three buildings, each specifically designed to provide high quality accommodation for life science occupiers. This second phase continues to build on the aspiration to provide a more collegiate feel to the campus, with predominantly traffic free zones and an emphasis on creating spaces for collaboration and interaction.

Anthony Browne, MP commented of the visit: “It was great to visit Unity Campus and learn about its innovative vision of the future as well as the important role family businesses play in our economy.  

“Unity Campus was deliberately built to encourage collaboration between tenants and will help to ensure that South Cambridgeshire maintains its place as the life science capital of the United Kingdom. As we reflect on COP26, the transformation of Howard Group from coal merchants in the 1930’s to pioneering an approach that saved 2000 tonnes of carbon when building the first stage of the Campus shows us a way forward.

“Thank you to Nicholas and the rest of the team for welcoming me - I look forward to seeing how the Unity Campus progresses in the coming years.”

Nicholas Bewes, CEO, Howard Group added: “Our family business began life in 1935. Now in the third generation, we look ahead to the emergence of the fourth generation and our centenary in 2035. As a family, we consider ourselves to be stewards, rather than owners of the business, with a strong commitment to build on the legacy of the past to hand it on in better shape to the next generation.

“We were delighted to welcome Anthony to Unity Campus and have the opportunity to not only show him the existing facilities but also give him a flavour of what’s to come in the next phase of development, namely 95,000 sq ft of lab-enabled space across three new buildings, specifically designed to meet the ever-growing demand for life science laboratory facilities within the South Cambridge cluster.”

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