Pharma giant moves into new Basingstoke HQ

International pharmaceutical company Eli Lily and Company has moved into its £19 million new-build headquarters in Basingstoke, a project Morgan Sindall Construction successfully delivered following a 13-month build programme.

Located within the Basing View Enterprise Zone, the new five-storey building features 45,000 sq ft of Grade A workspace. It will provide a new home for the pharmaceutical giant, which has counted Basingstoke as key to its global operation for 80 years.

The scheme was led by Muse Developments on behalf of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which owns the site, and designed by architect TP Bennett. It includes a shared 288-space multi-storey car park, space on the ground floor for retail units as well as a green, grass roof.

Morgan Sindall Construction began work on the project in September 2019, with another contractor completing the interior fitting of partitions, offices and canteens in March 2021.

James York, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are proud to play a part in the ongoing regeneration and renewal of Basingstoke. Eli Lilly’s commitment to the area represents a huge vote of confidence in both the wider Enterprise M3 corridor’s knowledge economy credentials, and the long-term vision for the Basing View Enterprise Zone, keeping hundreds of high value jobs in the town. It is an anchor institution and will help attract other businesses to the region.”

Chris Scott, development director at Muse Developments, said: “Alongside the wider economic benefits, the office building has achieved a BREEAM rating of Very Good and has delivered tangible social value that’s benefitting local people’s lives. The project successfully utilised local suppliers and created high-quality local jobs for those in the area and will continue to open doors throughout the building’s lifecycle.

“We firmly believe that with our partners at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, we are helping to transform Basing View into one of Thames Valley’s premier and most vibrant business hubs.”

The development is the first project to be supported by the Invest to Grow Fund, set up by the council in 2016 using £25m from long-term investments, in addition to funding from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The £19m headquarters is just the first step in Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s 10-year strategy to deliver more than 650,000sq ft of new developments in the region.

Despite one of the wettest winters on record for the region and the project team discovering under structures from the 1960s which weren’t documented on plans, the Morgan Sindall Construction team was able to progress without delays, filling in the old foundations and installing ground stabilisation materials.

The project was also hailed as one of the best COVID managed sites with zero outbreaks recorded, owing to additional welfare facilities, one-way systems, temperature monitoring and regular testing.

At the height of the project, 877 employees were on site, with 10 apprentices and local labour sourced within 20 miles of the project. Morgan Sindall Construction also took on an admin employee, who initially joined through an agency, and now works on one of the contractor’s developments in Oxford.