THE LARGEST covid testing lab in UK history is set to come to Warwickshire.
Today the government has announced that Leamington will be home to one of two new large scale diagnostic testing laboratories in the UK. The lab – expected to open early next year – will play a key role in the drive towards increasing national testing capacity. The other lab will be based in Scotland.
Once at full capacity, the sites are expected to be able to process up to 300,000 tests a day.
The Leamington laboratory will create up to 2,000 new jobs in the area once fully staffed and operating 24/7, including jobs in the associated manufacturing and supply chain.
There will be a range of new on-site jobs ranging from scientists and lab technicians to administrative and warehouse roles, bringing a huge boost for local employment and supply chain businesses.
A pop-up walk-in test and trace centre is currently located at a car park in Court Street in Leamington’s Old Town.
Warwickshire County Council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “We welcome the announcement made by Government today. Warwickshire remains a strategically located destination within the UK for investment and the government announcement to build a new diagnostic testing laboratory here reinforces that.
“The new facility will play an important role in the region’s recovery, bringing with it up to 2,000 jobs providing a much-needed boost to our economy. But it is also testament to the work that has gone into making Warwickshire such a standard bearer of technology and innovation. We have a wide range of cutting-edge enterprises based in the county and a tremendous pipeline of talent with two universities close by; to be selected once again by the government to lead such a critical piece of work, demonstrates the trust and the confidence that our reputation brings.”
Warwick District Council leader Andrew Day added: “This new diagnostic laboratory gives a big boost for our local Recovery Plan, offering up to 2,000 people with a broad range of skillsets, entry level jobs to highly specialised roles and managerial positions.
“Leamington Spa is an attractive destination for technologically advanced schemes and this important new laboratory has our full support. Warwick District Council has aided the planning processes to work speedily and assisted with the provision of convenient car-parking facilities to ensure that the benefits of this important new national facility will be felt locally for many years to come.”
WCC and ward councillor for the area Jonathan Chilvers has also welcomed the move while pointing out transport measures would be needed to support it.
He told the Observer: “I’m very pleased that the government have chosen South Leamington as the location for one of only two ‘mega labs’ in the country. The lab should create a whole range of jobs for the local economy and we have plenty of skills in our area to fill the roles. I’ll be pushing to make sure there are opportunities for local suppliers to get work. I also want to see sensible solutions to possible traffic issues. Things like free shuttle buses or electric bikes to and from the station or a Park and Ride are obvious choices to make sure we avoid queues.”
Visit www.ttlaboratoryjobs.com for job details.