Get to Know: Our Facilities Manager


Science parks are complex communities made up of multiple organisations and York Biotech Campus (YBC) is no exception, with a range of bioscience occupiers and over 1,100 employees onsite. We therefore need a top-tier facilities team to keep things running smoothly.

The person responsible for making sure YBC stays a well-oiled machine is Dan Sykes, our Facilities Manager. Dan is responsible for managing the hard services, which include the technical tasks like ongoing building maintenance which is delivered by Arcus Facilities Management. Dan also manages all of the soft services providers, which covers everything from landscaping, security, to the mail room, porterage and more.

We caught up with Dan to learn more about his role, and what he gets up to on a day-to-day basis.

How long have you been at York Biotech Campus?

“I started back when the site was the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1996 as a Food Chemistry Scientist focusing on surveying food for pesticide residues. I’ve seen the site go through all of its iterations eventually transforming into YBC! Over the years my career path took a different trajectory, and I ended up in a role doing business continuity, before moving into an incident and risk management role. When Capita took over the site, I was asked to join the facilities team and here I am today in the role of Facilities Manager.”

What does a typical day look like for you and what’s your favourite part?

“There’s usually lots of emails and meetings with occupiers in my day-to-day. As I’ve been at the site for over 20 years, I naturally know every inch of it incredibly well. This means I often have people coming to me for my expertise on the site looking for advice on infrastructure capabilities and more. I also enjoy the sustainability side of things and looking into how we can make our campus more efficient and environmentally friendly.

“My favourite part of my job is when I can be hands on with our occupiers, supporting them with things like lab alterations and modifications as well as new builds. It’s great being able to support their growth and aide them in doing their jobs which make a difference to the world.”

What do you enjoy most about YBC?

“It’s a stunning location, from the building itself to the beautiful green scenery around us. It can be challenging at times as there’s never enough hours in the day but the amazing people I get to work with make it all worth it. There’s so many different businesses and work being done daily just on campus, and it’s fantastic to be a part of facilitating this life-changing science and research.”

What do you like to do outside of work?

“I’m a bit of a petrol head and I used to rally drive but I also love being outdoors. In the summer months I like to spend my time at home with my wife, my dog and chickens and growing my own fruit and veg. I’ve always been an inquisitive person, and this combined with my scientific background led me to an interesting hobby a few years ago… making my own gin!

“I love gin, and I started tinkering with botanicals using ingredients grown by me and my wife. Eventually we turned this into our own business, Bar Walls Gin – each of our gins are named after the gates into the City of York. We officially launched Bar Walls Gin back on campus at the Christmas fair in December 2018, its definitely our passion project.”


If you’d like to learn more about our campus, find out more here.