Lustre of clusters

August 13, 1999

We would be sorry if readers inferred from your leader ("Clusters at the mercy of planners", THES, August 6) that South Cambridgeshire District Council is blind to the economic opportunities of biotechnology. Nor is (the Wellcome Trust's bid to build a campus at) Hinxton Hall its "first real test".

The Babraham Institute and Hinxton both had their original plans for bioscience company incubators turned down. While Hinxton toiled through the appeal process, Babraham worked with the council to achieve a mutually acceptable - and, dare we say, imaginative - solution.

As a result, the council overwhelmingly approved Babraham's resubmitted plans in June, and we expect to break ground for the expansion of the Babraham Bioincubator for functional genomics early next year.

With nearby Granta Park available for more established companies, South Cambridgeshire is open for bio-business.

Richard Dyer Director, Babraham Institute

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