The Town of Shrewsbury has become a Platinum-Rated Community for Biotechnology, as of December 27, 2021, the highest rating possible for BioReady communities. The Town has achieved this since it included a building or buildings that are already permitted for biotech uses and have 20,000 square feet or more of available space for biotech uses, the Town had shovel-ready, pre-permitted land site with completed MEPA review and municipal water and sewer capacity to meet additional demand (Centech Park North), and the Town’s Board of Health adopted the National Institutes of Health guidelines on rDNA activity as part of its regulations in March of 2007.
Kristen Las, Assistant Town Manager, stated that, “Shrewsbury is excited to be designated as a Platinum-Rated Community, as it shows our commitment to biotechnology businesses and industries on a national level. We welcome the opportunity to speak with our existing businesses about expanding as well as new businesses who wish to locate in the region. Shrewsbury has a lot to offer in terms of access to utilities, our own electric light and cable/broadband plant, excellent schools, and a variety of housing choices.”
Shrewsbury was previously rated a Gold Community. The Town obtained this rating in 2009. To achieve the previous status of, the Town had to have municipal water and sewer available in commercial and industrial areas, zoning to allow for biotech laboratory and manufacturing uses by special permit, the Town had to allow biotech laboratory and manufacturing uses by right, and many other standards that the Town has worked over the years to achieve. Communities must meet all of the criteria the subsequent ratings require in addition to the new criteria they are trying to meet. Shrewsbury meets the criteria of all four rankings.
“Shrewsbury has worked diligently throughout the years to become a Platinum-rated BioReady community, showing its commitment to supporting science and business in Central Massachusetts. Shrewsbury is set to flourish with its skilled workforce, nearby institutions of higher education, and available space. We are eager to work with Shrewsbury to grow their biotechnology cluster into a leader.” ~ Ben Bradford, Vice President of Economic Development, MA Biotechnology Council
There are 84 communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that have achieved a BioReady Community ranking. In Worcester County there are four Bronze Level Communities, two Silver Level Communities, three Gold Level Communities, and Shrewsbury joins Grafton, Westborough, and Worcester as a Platinum Level Community. Each level has different criteria that a community must achieve in order to be ranked at that level.
By achieving this ranking, the Town of Shrewsbury is able to, “help biotechnology companies find the most favorable destinations in the state” according to the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. Each ranking has its own criteria that communities have to achieve in order to be designated at that level. To learn more about the MassBio BioReady Community program visit https://www.massbio.org/initiatives/bioready-communities/