A purpose-built coronavirus testing lab at Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park is now fully operational.
The so-called Lighthouse Lab is the second of three facilities being built to increase the UK’s capacity to carry out testing for the coronavirus – the first lab opened in Milton Keynes, with a Glasgow lab due to become operational in the next week.
The new Lighthouse Labs have been created through a partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care and Medicines Discovery Catapult. The Alderley Park facility is being hosted by the Medicines Discovery Catapult, working closely with Macclesfield-based pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca.
Testing Minister Lord Bethell, who last week took part in a virtual tour of the North West’s new coronavirus lab, said:
Our target to reach 100,000 coronavirus tests a day requires a national effort. It is truly humbling to see remarkable experts from across the country use their skills to rapidly scale up testing capacity, with people from all sectors including industry and academia working tirelessly each day.
“Today is a milestone moment, as we applaud the staff at Alderley Park, the country’s second mega-lab.
“I had the privilege of speaking personally to some of the exceptional staff that made the Lighthouse Lab project possible, but I want to extend my thanks to every single person doing their bit to help the country get through the coronavirus pandemic.”
National Testing Coordinator Professor John Newton said:
Every day we take important steps to provide the testing capability the country needs to respond to this pandemic, as Lighthouse Labs increase their capacity and new drive-through testing sites are set up.
“The Lighthouse Labs will be the biggest network of diagnostic testing facilities in British history. In unprecedented times, remarkable people across the country are achieving unprecedented things. Alderley Park will help to rapidly scale up testing thanks to its team of highly skilled staff working tireless around the clock.”