This week the Government have announced that Royal Leamington Spa will be home to one of two large scale diagnostic testing laboratories in the UK.
The new lab will be one of the largest diagnostic facilities and will play a key role in the drive towards increasing UK testing capacity.
The laboratories will, in the immediate term, be dedicated to COVID-19 testing for the National Testing Programme. When at full capacity, each lab will be able to process up to 300,000 tests per day. This will further maximise testing capacity across the UK as demand rises. By Spring 2021 both labs together will be able to process up to 600,000 PCR tests a day.
Leamington Spa will be home to one of the laboratories, creating thousands of new jobs in the area once fully staffed and operating 24/7, including the associated manufacturing and supply chain. It is anticipated that the new facility will to open in early 2021.
Its development will bring around 2,000 jobs to the region across a broad range of sectors, both at the centre as well as in its supply and manufacture chain.
This is not the first time since the pandemic began that the county has been at the forefront of the test and trace programme. Warwickshire was one of 11 beacon councils that was initially selected to lead the pilot of the test and trace programme in May and more recently, Warwick District Council supported the pop-up walk-in test and trace centre situated in its car park at Court Street in Old Town, Leamington Spa.
Talking about the investment into Warwickshire, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, Councillor 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.”
Leader of Warwick District Council, Councillor Andrew Day adds:
“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.”