Work starts on Newcastle Laboratory as Kier Group, a leading property, residential, construction and services group, are appointed to construct the specialist facility.
Located on Newcastle Science Central, Newcastle Laboratory will provide over 70,000 sq. ft of bespoke laboratory space, offering high quality, incubation and grow-on space to meet the needs of innovative businesses in the life science and healthcare sector.
Work is already underway with the £20m facility due to open in August 2018.
Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council said: “Newcastle has a thriving life science and healthcare sector which is rapidly expanding, and there’s a shortage of specialist laboratory space in the city.
“Newcastle Laboratory will provide this flourishing sector with the much needed specialist facilities – enabling life science organisations to continue growing, innovating and producing pioneering research and products.
“Newcastle Science Central provides the perfect home for these specialist facilities, and as the flagship location for life sciences, it provides the infrastructure businesses need to collaborate as well as globally-renowned academics and students also based on site.”
Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland and north east, said: “We’re looking forward to delivering this new bespoke laboratory facility, building on our expertise in the biotech sector.
“Kier has extensive experience delivering research facilities and we’re proud to be providing the latest addition to Science Central development as it continues to expand.”
Newcastle Laboratory will provide a unique eco-system of associated services through a bespoke business acceleration service, including ready access to expert advice and industry knowledge to help tenants innovate and grow, and to use insight-led research to support the commercialisation of products and services.
Procurement for an operating company will start in May to secure the right organisation to manage the laboratory and ensure an innovative and cultivating environment is consistently delivered to the tenants.
The state-of-the-art building has been developed by a design team led by Aura alongside award-winning architects Ryder, who have been supported by leading industry specialists including CAM-SCI, to ensure the building meets the needs of the healthcare and life sciences sector.
Newcastle Laboratory is being funded by Newcastle City Council, North East LEP as part of the North East Growth Deal (Local Growth Fund) from Government, as well as European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.