The world-leading Wellcome Trust Science Conference Centre in Cambridge today started work on a £9 million expansion project literally building on its reputation as one of the UK’s top venues for scientific conferences.
It has begun construction of a new residential bedroom block of 64 rooms increasing the overnight accommodation to a total of 136 bedrooms.
The development will strengthen the already state-of-the art facilities, including a 300-seat auditorium, a flexible 60-seat meeting room, a self-contained training suite and a dedicated IT training room.
As part of the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, the Conference Centre is closely integrated with both the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute.
The new facilities will allow more delegates to stay on site – increasing the opportunities for interaction and discussions. This will not only offer the additional benefit of reducing their travel time but will also minimise the environmental impact on the local area.
David Davison, campus director Wellcome Trust Genome Campus said: “This project will enhance our work to make this campus and this region a focus for realising healthcare benefits from genomic research.
“It is not simply about bedrooms, but an example of the better ways we can help the discussions in research that lead to new understanding.”
The conference centre hosts more than 10,000 delegates each year and the expansion is part of ambitious plans for the conference activities to grow and complement the current scientific conference programmes of the research institutes on campus.
Set in over 100 acres of parkland on the banks of the River Cam, the conference centre’s extensive grounds are available to delegates participating in scientific conference and advanced training programmes.
The contract for the construction was awarded to a local family-owned building contractor R G Carter that is committed to minimizing environmental impact, to low energy use and to sustainable building. The work is set to finish in November 2013.