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CEFAS To Invest In Lowestoft Facilities


UK - Following examination of the business case for renewal of its Lowestoft laboratories, Cefas has chosen to remain in its current Pakefield Road facilities and to invest to improve working conditions for its staff at that site.

In recent years there has been an expectation that Cefas’ need for modern laboratories could be fulfilled through the Waveney Campus project. However, in December 2009 the Waveney Campus project partners agreed that the longer-term risks to the project, in an increasingly challenging economic climate, were such that it was better to dissolve their partnership.

Efforts then switched to exploring two potential options for the agency’s future in Lowestoft:

  • to scale down the Waveney Campus design to a Cefas-only facility on the proposed site;
  • to deal with immediate estate issues and extend the life of its current Pakefield Road site through relatively modest investment.

Cefas and its parent department, Defra, have now assessed initial feasibility assessments. The decision is now to progress the second option.

Richard Judge, Cefas’ Chief Executive, said: “We are, naturally, disappointed that we are not taking forward our plans for new-build, state-of-the-art facilities. However, I am confident that with relatively modest short-term investment we will be able to tackle a range of maintenance issues, and to provide better facilities for our staff. Our immediate focus will be on delivering these short-term improvements.”

Cefas believes that this investment could extend occupation of the Pakefield Road facilities by at least five to seven years. The development of a longer-term solution will be considered again in due course.