Improving shared facilities within one of the UK’s best-known Science & Technology parks


Discovery Park


Life Sciences

SAF Solutions was able to combine a thorough understanding of the nuances of the UK Life Sciences sector with a long-standing relationship with the client’s chosen supplier, to secure a £150K+ investment for improved sterilisation services as part of a wider site improvement project.

Client Brief

Discovery Park is a multi-business science park, providing world-class laboratory, office & manufacturing facilities based in Kent. The park is home to a wide range of tenants from small SME and research businesses to global corporate enterprises.

Securing a modern, efficient pit-mounted laboratory steriliser was intrinsic to the Park’s wider multi-million-pound incubator project, expanding and improving the Parks onsite lab facilities, providing high-end sterilisation services for tenants. The occupants are most notably start-ups and early-stage companies, including drug discovery, cell and gene therapy, digital health, manufacturing and MedTech firms.

The ability to finance this particular element of the project was attractive to the client, enabling available capital to be invested elsewhere within the project, increasing affordability and better managing capex budgets.

The client had identified MMM Medical Equipment as their preferred equipment supplier. Having financed several MMM projects for other clients, they were a supplier well-known to SAF. Our role was to liaise with the Finance team at Discovery Park to identify the best finance solutions for their requirements and collaborate with all parties to ensure a smooth order process for the client.

SAF’s Solution:

The key to securing the right finance structure for our clients is ensuring that we are engaging with the key stakeholders within the business. In this instance, we worked with the Park’s Financial Controller to better understand what they were seeking to achieve from financing the project.

Discovery Park was keen to take advantage of the cashflow benefit that spreading the cost of investment offered them and was open to any options outside of capital purchase.

Ownership and timing were also key drivers for the client. Having discussed the contractual terms and accounting implications of various funding agreements, it was agreed with the client to structure the funding by way of a 5-year Hire Purchase agreement, ensuring contractual transfer of ownership at the end of the funding term.

As the equipment formed part of a wider investment project, delivery of the equipment to the site was wholly dependent on when the site was ready to accept the goods for delivery and installation. The timeframe from order to delivery, due to site restrictions was close to 12 months. Despite the long lead time, SAF were able to fix the payment profile to ensure the payments factored into the Parks financial forecasts remained relevant.

Speed of service was key for both the supplier and the end user in order to secure the order at the negotiated asset cost. Having worked closely on behalf of MMM Group clients previously, SAF had a robust understanding of the asset. In addition, the proactive approach with the client to best understand their financial drivers ensured that the credit approval process was quick and efficient, ensuring the order could be secured in a timely manner.


The UK Life Sciences sector is a key area of economic growth. Science Parks such as Discovery Park offer both ambitious SMEs and multinational companies alike, the facilities and resources to thrive and grow. A large part of their appeal is the quality of the infrastructure that they provide to their tenants.

Investment in their laboratory infrastructure is a key element to the Parks ongoing success, their ability to take advantage of the funding options available to them through SAF’s partnership with MMM ensured they were able to retain capital for other elements of the site’s development without the need for concessions relating to the quality of the equipment solution.

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