'Topping Out' for £30m second phase of Institute of Life Science
Health Minister Edwina Hart will today [Thursday, 17 February] mark a major milestone in the construction of the second phase of the Institute of Life Science at Swansea University.
The topping out ceremony is a tradition in the construction industry and is held when the last bolt is placed on the top of the building.
The development of the £30million state-of-the-art research centre is funded by £10million from the Welsh Assembly Government, £12.8million from the Convergence European Regional Development Fund, £6.4million from Swansea University and land to the value of £1million from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.
The new seven-storey, 6,000 square metre building will house clinical research and play a major role in developing new products and services for the healthcare industry. It will triple the space available to grow related businesses.
The first phase of the Institute, which opened in 2007, boasts state-of-the-art laboratories researching areas such as cancer, diabetes and obesity, neurological disorders and hospital-acquired infections.
Mrs Hart, pictured, said: "This significant investment from the Welsh Assembly Government demonstrates the importance we place on medical research. The Institute puts Wales at the forefront of research and development for tackling many life-threatening diseases.
"The developments that are devised here could transform the way we care for patients and help boost the economy."
The Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, added: "It is important that we invest in research and new technology as we continue to build our knowledge economy in Wales.
"This development exploits the wealth of skills and expertise in health, higher education and business in Wales. Life sciences is one of the sectors that is key to the development of the Welsh economy and the delivery of our new economic renewal programme."
Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University, said: "This superb facility at Swansea University is made possible by substantial investment by the Welsh Assembly Government and close partnership working with the University Health Board.
"At the topping out ceremony we see the vision being turned into a reality. We can look forward in confidence to the days when the expanded Institute will be fully functioning, helping to push forward the boundaries of medical science and driving the development of a cluster of high-tech medically-related companies in the region."
Win Griffiths, chair of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, said: "As a University Health Board we have close links with Swansea University and the Institute of Life Science. We look forward to the research work the Institute will carry out, and the contribution it will make to the advancement of excellence in patient care."