6 things to consider when renting life sciences space

27th April 2023

6 things to consider when renting life sciences space

A new lab can be a significant investment. How can life sciences companies ensure they choose the right property, become operational quicker and reduce the risks along the way?

When looking to take additional lab, office or manufacturing space or relocate existing space, it’s a great opportunity to ensure your real estate strategy supports your core business strategy. Alongside that there are several actions you can take to reduce risks to core business operations and make it as smooth as possible.  For businesses raising additional funding speed to market once the funding completes can be critical.

Our 6 top tips for life science companies to consider are:

Return on Investment:

Consider the full return on investment when choosing between any available labs. The rent on one might be, say, £5 per sq ft more (£700 – £1,000 per annum per person additional cost) but this should be weighed against possible benefits such as easier recruitment (reduced recruitment costs), improved staff retention (fewer gaps in staffing so projects run on time), improved staff productivity (increased revenue per employee) and immediate access to an ecosystem (new ideas and new sales contracts). While these can be hard to quantify precisely, an order of magnitude can be applied to arrive at a return on investment. Each organisation has different drivers so the ROI answer will be individual each organisation.

Plan Ahead:

Lab spaces often require more precise climate controls (air changes, temperature, pressure, humidity) and more services (e.g. lab gases).  The more complex the needs the longer it can take to design. Not planning ahead can result in not being able to recognise growth plans as desired, impacting timely profitability or development programmes, or affect day-to-day business operations.

Understand Your Operational Needs:

Having a detailed understanding of what operations you’ll undertake and therefore what you require of a building’s core infrastructure from the start of your search is important. It prevents false starts, wasted time and cost on buildings that might not be suitable.

Raising Funds?

Science businesses can grow quickly, often through additional fund raises. Being able to articulate your growth story can address any concerns a landlord might have about limited company histories. As science-focused commercial property advisors Track Real Estate can help with this.

Consider Future Growth:

How much growth to factor into initial space needs and what options there are on site or nearby for further growth can be key.  A new lab is often a significant investment so being comfortable with future growth options is important. People are typically the only business cost higher than property – how does your property choice support future recruitment?


If you do need to move unexpectedly in future, do you understand your options and what flexibility your existing leases provide?  Frequently the development and needs of your business won’t align exactly with lease dates so what options do you have?

And finally, speak to us! Of course, we’d say that but there are always property options off market or coming to market that might not be immediately apparent from an internet search. It’s always worth a brief chat as it might open up new options – here are our current available properties https://trackrealestate.co.uk/properties/

Our expert team provides strategic commercial property advice to investors and occupiers on laboratory and office space to let, to learn more about how we can support and improve your search for life sciences space, contact us on 0161 706 1888 or email jamie.bottomley@trackrealestate.co.uk.

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Jamie Bottomley


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