Construction Started on New Cefas Headquarters
Construction work is under way at the new £16 million marine science centre in Lowestoft, which will see new headquarters built for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) at its site on Pakefield Cliffs.
The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by funding supporters from Defra and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, alongside local councillors, residents, staff and contractors. To commemorate the occasion, a time capsule containing recent Cefas scientific papers, letters to the future from young Cefas apprentices, a reusable water bottle – reflecting organisational commitments to reducing marine plastics, and other artefacts were buried.
“I thank Defra, New Anglia LEP, local councillor and the many others for their support for our exciting new Lowestoft headquarters development,” said CEO Tom Karsten. “This will be a vital step in realising our vision of a new era of Cefas and Defra leadership in providing world class science to manage the marine and freshwater environment.”
“Cefas has played a leading role in the UK and Lowestoft’s marine history over the past 116 years. The renewal of our Lowestoft headquarters represents an important chapter in this history and future opportunities for our continued development,” he added.
Cefas secured the final piece of funding in January 2018 and with the new centre on the way, the firm could save up to £2 million a year in running costs and would safeguard 440 jobs at the Pakefield Road site as well as enabling it to employ 12 to 15 apprentices a year.
“We are pleased to be officially marking the start of construction on this important development, which will provide Cefas with outstanding facilities to support their globally-relevant research and anchor our region as a centre for marine science excellence in the UK,” said Saul Humphrey, managing director of Morgan Singall’s East region.
“Our team is already making good progress and we look forward to working closely with Cefas and the wider project team as we deliver this landmark centre,” he continued.
Building work on the new office is due to begin shortly, with the completion date set for May 2020.