Sale of facilities management business at Discovery Park

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Parkserve, the facilities management business that has played a pivotal role in the success of Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent for nearly five years has sold its facilities management business at Discovery Park to the new investment firm, Discovery Park Estates.

Parkserve was set up by the company’s managing director Jeff Hind plus the previous shareholders of Discovery Park – Trevor Cartner, Chris Musgrave and Palmer Capital – following their purchase of the site from Pfizer in July 2012.

In November 2016, the regeneration specialists, who built up Discovery Park to 150 companies, employing some 2,500 people, announced the successful sale of commercial and industrial facilities at Discovery Park.

Following the deal, which went through earlier this month, all staff located at Discovery Park have transferred over to a new company, Discovery Park Management Ltd (DPML), with continued responsibilities for a suite of services – from cleaning and maintenance to conference and events.

Jeff Hind has founded a new company that will oversee the conference and events offer at Colworth Park in Bedfordshire where ParkServe had also held the facilities management contract.

Staff working in conference and events related roles at this site have already transferred to Colworth Park Conference and Events Ltd with remaining employees continuing to work under the ParkServe banner, until a new facilities management provider is appointed.

A spokesman for Palmer Capital, said: “We are pleased to have seen a successful transfer of a talented team of staff, many of whom had been with Parkserve since its inception in 2012.

“In the four years under our ownership the company played a pivotal role in the development of Discovery Park from a single company run pharmaceutical headquarters to a campus that continues to be a flagship for global scientific research.

“We wish the team every success as they set out on their next chapter, supporting the landlord and tenants as Discovery Park continues to look ahead to further success, delivering more jobs and opportunities for East Kent.”

Paul Barber, Managing Director, Discovery Park, said: “DPML is part of the same ownership group that acquired the land and buildings that make up Discovery Park in November 2016 and will continue to fulfil the obligations of the landlord.

“Businesses located at Discovery Park will see no change whatsoever in the excellent level of service that staff have been providing for the past four and a half years.

“The new owners are committed to further investment in the park, and have identified the vacant shell space in Discovery Park House and Innovation House as ideal for the creation of new lab and office accommodation.

“We are also in discussions with a number of organisations about Building 500 and hope to be able to make some positive announcements in the coming months.”