Warwickshire authorities welcome new Covid 'megalab' - The Stratford Observer

Warwickshire authorities welcome new Covid 'megalab'

THE NEW covid ‘megalab’ in Leamington has been welcomed by Warwickshire authorities.

Warwick District Council (WDC) and Warwickshire County Council (WCC) have welcomed the opening of the UK’s largest diagnostic testing laboratory by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The new Rosalind Franklin laboratory, in South Leamington, will play a key role in the fight against Covid-19 as part of the NHS Test and Trace programme. The Harrison Drive facility has created new jobs for some 300 locals with an additional 700 offers pending, from skilled scientific roles to entry level positions for school leavers and graduates.

With links already forged with Warwick and and Coventry Universities, the new laboratory is expected to become a key centre for training and placements, as well as medical research. Once fully operational there will be more employment opportunities in the manufacturing and supply chain.

WDC leader Andrew Day said: “This much anticipated opening of the Rosalind Franklin laboratory is a massive boost for our district, bringing up to 1,500 new jobs demanding a broad range of skill sets and opportunities for training and development for our young people.

“The location of the laboratory was of great importance to the government and we are proud that we were able to assist in making sure that our town met the rigorous selection criteria. The council will continue to give this important new national facility its full support and we are confident that the benefits will be felt locally for many years to come.”

WCC leader Izzi Seccombe added: “This great new national facility in Warwickshire is vital for the work of the NHS and their work around test and trace to keep us all safe. It also presents an excellent opportunity for the county and the West Midlands to grow the med-tech supply chain in the region, and the high-quality jobs and investment it brings to Warwickshire.

“The facility is named after the brilliant chemist Rosalind Franklin, whose work included significant contributions to the understanding of DNA and viruses. So, I hope her story will be an inspiration for a new generation of scientists and engineers recruited locally via apprenticeships and other routes into employment.”

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