Campus Diaries: Prospects for property in Yorkshire


Innovation Campus Manager, Liz Cashon takes the wheel again for the next instalment of our Campus Diaries series. Liz discusses the opportunities for the property sector both in Yorkshire and bioscience following the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as her favourite past projects and sources of sector inspiration from throughout the region.

Desirable demand

Now that we’re recovering from Covid-19, we’re seeing a huge boost in confidence across the property sector, from office to industrial. For us at YBC, it’s an extremely exciting time. We experienced strong demand for office and lab space during the pandemic, as it naturally fuelled innovation in science. This has only heightened as more businesses in the sector seek locations outside of London and identify lots of opportunity in Yorkshire, such as access to talent and facilities.

Improving the industry

Something people often say about Yorkshire’s property sector is that we hide our light under a bushel, and that we’re not very good at shouting about the great opportunity we present to the market, with a huge student population, a rich history of architecture and great transport links. I think that we can work together as a cohesive local sector in order to counter this and continue to attract more inward investment.

Favourite projects past

When YBC moved from a government site to private, we had the challenge of bringing in clients to aid this transition. Welcoming the global scientific research organisation Labcorp Drug Development (then Covance) onto the campus was a particular favourite project of mine. It was one of the landmark deals we signed which helped our transition and I worked on it through the entire process, which was very satisfying.

Best building in Yorkshire

St Paul’s House on Park Square in Leeds always draws my attention, there isn’t anything else like it in the city. The Moorish influence is really unique, and I like how it has been tastefully refurbished to not detract from the great architectural design.

Admiring Arnold

The person in Yorkshire’s property sector whose work I admire the most in Yorkshire property is Arnold Ziff. Not only for the work that his company Town Centre Securities has done to develop the property market in Leeds, but for the time and energy he has put into making Leeds the city it is today. He’s donated millions to aid causes in education and health, along with fostering the artistic community.

Read more of Liz’s thoughts in her Campus Diary on how working in biotech has changed since Covid-19 here.