This week the Government have announced that Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire will be home to one of two new large scale diagnostic testing laboratories in the UK. The Warwickshire lab will be one of the largest diagnostic facilities in the UK and will play a key role in the drive towards increasing national testing capacity. The other lab will be based in Scotland. The laboratories will, in the immediate term, be dedicated to COVID-19 testing for the National Testing Programme and when at full capacity, each lab will be able to process up to 300,000 tests a day.
The Leamington laboratory will create up to 2000 new jobs in the area once fully staffed and operating 24/7, including jobs in the associated manufacturing and supply chain. It is anticipated that the new facility will open in early 2021.
There will be a range of new on-site jobs ranging from scientists and lab technicians to administrative and warehouse roles bringing a huge boost for local employment and supply chain businesses.
This is not the first time since the pandemic began that the county has been at the forefront of the national Covid response. Warwickshire County Council was one of 11 beacon councils that was 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 to be 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 - details can be found at
"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.”
All blogs are written or edited by Cllr Pam Redford & Cllr Trevor Wright