The leading advisor for the UK science and technology (S&T) sectors has estimated that despite Brexit, Cambridge and Oxford’s S&T companies will require 2.5 million more square feet of lab and research space over the next five years, and are looking to accommodate 20,000 new R&D workers by 2023.

Currently, the S&T sector in Oxford and Cambridge alone employs more than 90,000 individuals, and is worth around £9.8 billion. Bidwells property consultancy conducted interviews with 50 leading S&T companies for its study.

According to Bidwells, employment in the sectors would need to grow by 22% in order to support growth, as investment in the knowledge industries continues to rise. This could add around £2.8 billion to the UK economy by 2023. While Brexit was not assigned as a “major” challenge to this growth, the impact on recruitment of highly-skilled talent is a major concern at this point.

Recently, a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Independent Economic Review, conducted by Dame Kate Barker, the government must adopt a “Cambridge or overseas” mentalist towards knowledge businesses, and understand that some companies will relocate abroad if the area is no longer suitable.