Cheshire East Council has welcomed the announcement on 4 August 2020, of £15.5 million of the Getting Building Fund for investment in schemes in Cheshire and Warrington, one of which is a new Validation Centre of Excellence at Alderley Park.
The Council has worked with Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (C+W LEP) to identify ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects that will support sub-regional economic recovery and local businesses, as set out in the Government’s ‘New Deal’ programme for Britain.
Building on the success of the Medicines Discovery Catapult led Lighthouse Lab, Medicines Discovery Catapult and Alderley Park will create a new Validation Centre of Excellence for innovative diagnostics, biomarkers and complex medicines and develop the UK’s onshore diagnostic capability and capacity and the associated supply chain.
The project incorporates the creation of specialist laboratories, including a Category 3 biosafety facility for testing of new diagnostics, biomarkers and therapeutics for highly infectious pathogens, including respiratory viruses such as Covid-19.
The council is playing a key partnership role to support this scheme with flexibility to provide the greatest economic benefits to the area. It is essential to promote and finance green infrastructure projects across the borough, particularly Investing in critical research facilities to help combat the pandemic to influence economic recovery.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The council is committed to supporting scientific research and innovation in Cheshire East, home to cutting-edge life science facilities that are internationally acclaimed for their highly skilled workforce.
“This investment recognises the significance of these leading projects and the fundamental role that Cheshire East can play in fighting life changing and life-threatening infections, including Covid-19.”
Dr Kath Mackay, managing director of Bruntwood SciTech - Alderley Park, said: “It’s brilliant that Alderley Park has been recognised by the government for its world-leading facilities and scientific capabilities. This additional investment will help us to continue building our life science cluster at the park and will enable us to play a key role in stimulating economic growth within the region and UK.”
Professor Peter Simpson, chief scientific officer at Medicines Discovery Catapult, said: "I am delighted with this funding, that will enable us to extend the state-of-the-art lab capabilities, which we already offer to companies and innovators in this region. The Validation Centre will enable translational research for new therapeutics and diagnostics that will improve the UK's response to major health challenges. This will become a fantastic new life science asset in Cheshire East.”