AstraZeneca's former R&D site in Loughborough, England, is being given a new lease of life as a "world-class science park" that aims to provide an "innovative and collaborative environment" for established and start-up businesses.

The 70-acre hub, which has now been renamed Charnwood Biomedical Campus, will provide 450,000 square foot of facilities such as multi-purpose, specialist laboratories and equipment, a pilot plant, offices and warehousing.

It is envisaged that the Campus will pull in tenants from the pharmaceuticals, life sciences and healthcare fields, as well as academia and the public sector.

Charnwood’s owners have confirmed "considerable interest" from a number of global plc’s, and while specific details are obviously still under lock and key, it was noted that "advanced talks" are underway with one tenant "seeking capacity for 300-400 staff".

AstraZeneca announced the closure of its Charnwood R&D facility - with the loss of 1,200 job - back in 2010, and local firm Jayplas bought the site in 2012. 

Campus Director Dominic Young has overseen the site’s development plans in consultation with an independent team of experts from the pharmaceutical sector, to "remobilise" parts of the site and help create "a leading science and technology park".

Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has welcomed the move, noting that it offers "a great opportunity" for the local economy.