University to invest in world-class research laboratories

The University has applied for planning permission to build a world-class research facility. The £90 million development, funded by the University and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, will accommodate more than 600 researchers in state-of-the art laboratories.

The facility will provide an inter-disciplinary research environment to enable scientists to contribute more effectively to the major health challenges of the 21st Century.  Built around core technologies such as genomics, proteomics and imaging, the development will support research in three key areas in which Liverpool already has an international standing: infectious diseases, cancer, and digestive diseases.

The research teams that will move into the new facility are currently accommodated within the Duncan Building and the University Clinical Department Building which are part of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The facility will be built on land adjacent to the University’s Biosciences Building at the junction of Crown Street and West Derby Street. The site of the new facility was carefully chosen directly across from the proposed site of the new hospital currently seeking Government approval.

Steve Dickson, Director of Facilities Management, said: “The co-location will optimise the benefits for clinicians who split their time between research and clinical work and help the University build on its international reputation for research. The University aims to develop the new facility into a health research campus, working closely with the Trust in research areas such as microbial diseases and pancreatic digestive diseases.”

The development is in keeping with the University’s Sustainability Agenda and is designed to achieve a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) rating of excellent, supporting the Government’s targets for carbon emissions. Recycled materials and sustainable timber will be used in the project’s construction and it will also feature a heat recovery system.

Steve added: “The project will have some impact on car parking and 90 spaces will be taken out of commission when building work begins.

“We’re working closely with our transport consultants to produce a car park management strategy that takes account of the impact of committed projects and the University’s long-term capital plan. We’re considering various initiatives to maintain the level of parking provision including the possible establishment of a multi-storey car park.

“The completion of a number of our campus development projects will release 127 spaces in late 2009. We are also updating our travel plan which commits to greater public provision for those cycling and walking to work as well as taking public transport.”

Work is expected to begin on the new facility in January 2010, with the first phase being completed in July 2011. Construction is expected to begin on the second phase shortly afterwards.

Notes to editors:

1. The University of Liverpool is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive institutions in the UK. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £93 million annually.


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