Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre fast tracked as works progress at Harwell Campus
Construction of the UK’s new Vaccines Centre has begun ahead of schedule. The highly specialist facility will house the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) that will provide the UK’s first bespoke strategic vaccine development and manufacturing capability.
The rapidly accelerated programme will aim to see the 7,000 m2 (footprint) state-of-the-art facility opening its doors in 2021, ahead of its original scheduled date in 2022.
Construction for this complex build has been made possible by unprecedented collaborative efforts between: VMIC, Harwell Campus, Vale of the White Horse District Council, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Glencar, the main contractors for this project and aims to provide an emergency response for COVID-19.
“Whilst no-one could have predicted the Covid-19 outbreak we are doing all we can to fast track the build so VMIC is set-up to offer long-term support to the UK’s future vaccines needs whilst simultaneously contributing right now to the vital work that will help us emerge from this pandemic.As well as working with the Harwell team and contractors to deliver the build rapidly ahead of schedule, VMIC scientists and engineers are working round the clock as part of the BIA CoViD19 Taskforce, and alongside Oxford University advising on manufacturing options of the vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, which has recently opened for trial.”
Dr Matthew Duchars, Chief Executive of the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre
Groundwork has already begun on the site at Harwell Campus with the team focusing on site clearance, preparing the site for construction and the early order of steelwork. Glencar expect to see the base build ready for each access for fit-out in late July/early August.
“Early delivery of VMIC will give UK sovereign resilience and also a new base from where we can support other countries, in the global battle against Covid-19, plus prepare to meet future threats. The whole Project Team are going above and beyond every day at Harwell, particularly the construction personnel. We thank everyone involved for their strenuous ongoing efforts and off-site support for this supercharged project.”
Angus Horner, Director at Harwell Campus
Many organisations at Harwell have played pivotal roles in the COVID-19 battle, including: Diamond Light Source, Oxford Nanopore, Public Health England, University of Oxford, RAL Space and ResMed. For more examples, click HERE.
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