A new “Lighthouse Lab” is to open in Bracknell. Along with another opening in Newcastle, they will join the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history to help scale up testing capacity ahead of winter.
The two new Lighthouse Labs follow the previous announcements of others opening in Newport, South Wales and Charnwood, Nottinghamshire which will scale testing capacity to help deliver 500,000 tests per day by the end of October.
The four new labs come on top of ongoing work to build capacity at the seven existing Lighthouse, including at Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, which is managed by UK Biocentre – the largest facility in the UK for storing and processing biological samples. Many other partner lab facilities across the country are also now involved in diagnostic testing for Covid-19.
Government measures taken include recruitment of hundreds of additional staff and new technology to boost the number of tests processed. Surge laboratories will continue to maximise testing as demand rises.
Professor Chris Molloy, Medicines Discovery Catapult CEO and Director of the UK Lighthouse Labs Network, said: “The country is working together at unprecedented pace and scale to build a high quality, high throughput COVID-19 testing capacity. Experts and leaders at each of the laboratories are using all of their expertise and networks to combine technology, equipment, people and advice from across the UK to enable local delivery and a national network. Each of the hubs, their enabling organisations and their many partners are working tirelessly, with exceptional purpose to bring this together at a time of national challenge.”