The Lighthouse Lab set up at Cheshire’s Alderley Park has announced this week it has processed over 4 million samples as part of the UK’s coronavirus testing regime.
The 4 million milestone was reached on the 31st October, despite the first sample only being tested on the 7th April. The figure is equivalent to testing the combined populations of Liverpool and Manchester. The Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab has capacity to process 50,000 daily samples and was set up and is run by the Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC).
Professor Chris Molloy, CEO of MDC, who led the formation of the national Lighthouse Labs network, described the achievement at Alderley Park as the culmination of six months hard work and was the epitome of a ‘can-do’ attitude. He said:
“The Alderley Lighthouse was home – day and night – to an army of 300 volunteers from across the region who answered the call to action when it was stood up in April this year.
“We now have a team of over 400 contract staff at the Alderley Lighthouse, many of whom are at the beginning of their careers and receiving excellent training and supervision. Passing four million tests – 1 million of them in the last month – has been a monumental achievement, demonstrating the quality, determination and sense of purpose of our staff in coming together to help the country in this time of adversity.
“I wish to thank our teams of today and earlier in the year behalf of the four million people whose lives they have touched through their dedication and hard work.”
The Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab is one of three such facilities that were set up to increase the UK’s coronavirus testing capacity as part of its strategy to control the virus. The other labs are in Glasgow, Scotland, and in Milton Keynes in the South East of England.