Planning permission granted for new campus development at Rothamsted Research

15th Jan 2014

Rothamsted Research has been given planning approval to boost its science and business facilities. St Albans District Council planning committee approved plans for a shared research innovation hub and extension to its existing conference centre, which will be funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Lawes Agricultural Trust and Rothamsted Research.

Chris Dunkley, Enterprise Projects Director commented “These additional facilities will further extend the collaborative research and knowledge exchange activities of Rothamsted Research and will maintain the Rothamsted reputation as the centre of global agricultural technology”

The buildings will open mid way through 2015 with work starting during March this year.

The Government announced the cash boost for Rothamsted Research last year, as part of its new Agri-Technology Strategy to help drive economic growth. This investment from BBSRC, Lawes Agricultural Trust and Rothamsted Research will help develop the Rothamsted Research campus into a Centre for Research and Enterprise.

BBSRC investment in UK research and innovation campuses aims to create an environment where unique facilities and world-leading science can be accessed by private enterprise. The campuses make a key contribution to the UK innovation ecosystem, generating important impacts like new products, services and jobs.

BBSRC, the UK’s main funding agency for research in the biosciences and the largest single public funder of agriculture and food-related research, will invest up to £8.2M towards the delivery of the shared resources hub at Rothamsted that will enable multidisciplinary interactions between industrial and academic scientists. In addition to this, up to £2.7M will also help to deliver a new Rothamsted communications and conference centre. Support will also be provided by the Lawes Agricultural Trust and other sources to provide a total proposed project investment of up to £25M in the first instance.

The Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise signals the beginning of an expansion plan for the current facilities at Rothamsted Research to encourage more science, business and enterprise to flourish at this world-class facility. The investment will facilitate economic growth, job creation and wellbeing by nurturing innovation and the translation of excellent agri-science into real life applications. It will also seek to generate new investment to the local community as well as provide state-of-the-art conferencing facilities for local business and enterprise to use. The internationally renowned Rothamsted Research will be at the heart of the Centre and provide the focal point for its activities.

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