A £4.3m office sale has boosted a fundraising campaign to bring Oxford to the forefront of scientific debate, but the deal has left one of the tenants searching for a new home.

The Oxford Trust, a charity which promotes science and enterprise, said it had received a "very good price" from property company Inter County for the building in Mill Street, Osney, housing its spin-off, Oxford Innovation.

The building - the Oxford Centre for Innovation - was previously managed by Oxford Innovation, which rented out space to start-up companies. The Oxford Trust had been looking to sell for some time, and reinvest in a new £10m science communication centre in Oxford's West End redevelopment, but David Kingham, chief operating officer at Oxford Innovation, admitted: "We were taken a little by surprise."

Oxford Innovation, founded by the Oxford Trust, has created thousands of new jobs in Oxfordshire and throughout the UK by offering flexible terms and start-up advice to entrepreneurs in 13 innovation centres, seven of them in Oxfordshire.

Mr Kingham said: "The property will be managed as a standard serviced office and without the focus on entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups that is key to the innovation centre concept and so important to Oxford Innovation.

"Oxford Innovation has retained the 'Oxford Centre for Innovation' brand name and we are actively looking at opportunities to re-establish one or more innovation centres within the Oxford ring road area."

Gillian Pearson, chief executive of the Oxford Trust, which moved from Mill Street to St Clement's two years ago, said that the trust was no longer a majority shareholder in Oxford Innovation after its merger with Cambridge-based consultancy SQW. She added: "We are extremely supportive of what it does but we cannot treat it any differently from any other commercial body that we work with.

"The trust's new idea is to do something different."

She said Mill Street was the wrong side of the railway line to be part of the West End redevelopment. The trust was talking to public and private-sector bodies which might become partners in a new centre, perhaps in Worcester Street or on the Oxpens Road site occupied by Oxford and Cherwell Valley College.

"We have a war chest of £8m-£10m for the new centre and it won't be long before we find something," she said.

Tenants at the innovation centre will stay on under their existing leases with Inter County.