Negotiations underway on deal for Sanofi’s Dagenham science park

A Sanofi worker in the laboratory before the Dagenham site closed

A Sanofi worker in the laboratory before the Dagenham site closed - Credit: Archant

Negotiations are under way to sell the state-of-the-art science park left behind by global drugs manufacturer Sanofi.

Facilities management service Site Operations Group (SOG), who are lead consultants on the regeneration of the Sanofi site in Rainham Road South, Dagenham, have now stepped forward as potential buyers for the 17-acre plot.

Finding a buyer for the multi-million pound research and development laboratories has been a key element of the firm’s legacy after it closed its manufacturing plant last year following almost 80 years in the borough.

Jim Moretta, Sanofi’s Dagenham site leader, said: “Retention of these superb science buildings has been at the very heart of our site regeneration programme.

“We believe these fantastic facilities, which have been vital to the production of Sanofi’s oncology drugs, can be adapted for use by other science and technology companies to create a centre of scientific excellence in east London.”

The future of the site looked uncertain after the Mayor of London refused a grant request from SOG to the London Enterprise Panel, claiming the development was not “strong enough” for approval.

The science park sits within the wider site, of which 10 acres has been bought by retail giant Sainsbury’s for a supermarket expected to generate more than 400 jobs.

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An NHS health facility, hotel and retail park have also been granted planning permission and the firm’s sports fields donated to the local community through the May and Baker Eastbrook Community Club charitable trust last December.

SOG were first hired by Sanofi as project leaders off the back of their successful regeneration of the former corporate headquarters of chemical company ICI in Runcorn, Cheshire, into a science and technical park.

Today it is home to more than 170 businesses employing nearly 2,000 people.

Managing director John Lewis said: “SOG has a unique and highly successful model for regenerating scientific sites based on the formula we devised at Runcorn.

“We believe our business model for regeneration can be adapted at other locations that face closure or down-sizing and it is the reason Sanofi appointed us as their consultants in the first place.”

The move has also been supported by Barking and Dagenham Council.