Work begins on state-of-the-art laboratory

PUBLISHED: 13:49 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:24 31 May 2010

Executives of Illumina Inc with representatives from joint developers Churchmanor Estates Plc and Morley Fund Management to mark start of construction of the company’s new European headquarters at Che

Executives of Illumina Inc with representatives from joint developers Churchmanor Estates Plc and Morley Fund Management to mark start of construction of the company's new European headquarters at Che

WORK began on a state-of-the-art laboratory at a leading science park last week. Chesterford Research Park welcomed on Thursday a gathering of high-profile executives from Illumina Inc, one of the world s leading developers, manufacturers and marketers of

WORK began on a state-of-the-art laboratory at a leading science park last week.

Chesterford Research Park welcomed on Thursday a gathering of high-profile executives from Illumina Inc, one of the world's leading developers, manufacturers and marketers of pioneering life-science tools and integrated systems, who donned hard hats to mark the start of construction of the Gonville Laboratory at the park.

The US-based company, which is currently enjoying rapid expansion, has taken a pre-let of the 41,500sq ft laboratory to establish its European headquarters at Chesterford.

Senior vice president of Illumina Inc, Christian Henry, was presented with an engraved stainless steel shovel by ceremony hosts and joint-developers of the park Churchmanor Estates Plc and Morley Fund Management. The official groundbreaking ceremony was followed by a reception for Illumina staff at the park's central facilities building known as The Nucleus.

Speaking at the event Christian Henry said: "South Cambridgeshire has long been a centre for developing excellent medical research and development in which Chesterford will help us play a key role in undertaking groundbreaking discoveries. "We have enjoyed a long-standing collaborative relationship with the park's management who genuinely understands the needs of research-based companies."

Henry continued: "This is coupled with state-of-the-art support facilities that ensure our staff enjoy working here and look forward to moving into our new facility."

In November 2006, Illumina acquired Solexa, who have been established at Chesterford Research Park since October 2000. Since that time, Chesterford has assisted the company's growth through the provision of different types of laboratory and office accommodation.

The Gonville Laboratory, expected to open next year, will incorporate the latest design requirements for Illumina, resulting in a highly flexible building that caters for the company's technological needs.

Martin Sylvester, Director of Churchmanor Estates Plc, said: "This groundbreaking marks a further major milestone in the park's development. Our objective is to set new standards for the sector, offering outstanding facilities in a stunning setting. We are delighted that Chesterford continues to attract global businesses such as Illumina, who are looking to expand and set up in the Cambridge Bio-cluster."

Set in 250 acres of open parkland, Chesterford Research Park offers science- and technology-based companies innovatively designed buildings, developed to suit their individual needs, together with full support services including The Nucleus, a central facility centre, a gymnasium, restaurant, bar, shop, conference rooms and a seven-hole golf course.

Since its inception some seven years ago, the Park has attracted continuing and growing investment from bioscience companies, establishing itself - and the wider South Cambridge area - as one of the UK's leading R&D locations.

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