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Planning permission approved for Health & Life Sciences Building

Planning permission approved for Health & Life Sciences Building

Concept image of the new Health & Life Sciences Building

Plans to build a brand new Health & Life Sciences facility at the University of Reading have been approved by Wokingham and Reading Borough Councils.  

Both councils approved the full planning application for a four storey building; the creation of a new entrance and external works to the Philip Lyle Building; and associated landscaping and car parking at Whiteknights campus. 

Set to cost over £50 million, the project will provide a purpose-built teaching and research facility for the School of Biological Sciences located in closer proximity to existing School space

Its configurable design will enable labs to teach groups of up to 280, making it one of the largest teaching labs in the UK. 

Spanning four storeys, the new facility will provide 7,557m2 of lab and teaching space, and will feature two dedicated floors for wet and dry research laboratories catering for up to 95 academic researchers and 145 doctoral students. The new building will also become the new site of the Cole Museum of Zoology. 

Key features include:

  • A range of teaching laboratories and seminar room
  • A bioresource unit (BRU) 
  • Research laboratories and write-up areas
  • Offices and open plan areas for academic and support staff
  • New location for the Cole Museum of Zoology 
  • New café 
  • Uniting the School - currently hosted in six buildings spread across the Whiteknights campus – to enable more efficient use of space and resources, allowing greater collaboration in research

The new facility will be built on the site of the Engineering Building, which is set to be demolished as part of the programme. A date for the demolition will be confirmed shortly, with construction of the new facility to follow after its demolition.  

The consolidation of SBS will see the demolition of several additional older buildings; the Knight and Harborne buildings are forecast to be demolished in autumn 2019, followed by the AMS Tower in 2020.

Construction of the new facility is anticipated to be complete by summer 2019. 

The Health & Life Sciences project forms part of the University’s major capital investment programme 2026: TRANSFORM.

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