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Green light for flagship building

10 March 2011

An artist’s impression of the new buildingAn artist’s impression of the new building

The University’s new landmark building at Maindy Park, offering well-equipped new space for research and public engagement, has received the go-ahead.

The new development at the Maindy Park campus will be home to some the University’s most advanced research work, helping to build Wales’ international profile as a knowledge-led economy.

Two of the recently-launched Research Institutes will be housed in the building, bringing highly-skilled jobs to regenerate former industrial land in the heart of Cardiff.

The University plans to bring new life to Maindy Park over the next two decades with a series of prestigious buildings, set in a parkland environment. It will create a total of 60,000 new square metres of space, offering new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

The new building will stand next to the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences. The design will complement both the existing School and the residential homes on Maindy Road. The building has been designed to be sustainable in both its building materials and energy consumption. An independent environmental assessment of the design has rated it "excellent." The £30M building will be financed by Welsh and UK Government capital funds earmarked for this particular project.

The building will provide highly advanced laboratory space for the two Research Institutes, both tackling major health threats in Wales. They are:

Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute. The long-term ambition is to investigate whether new therapies targeted on cancer stem cells offer better survival rates than current treatments aimed at all the cells in tumours.

Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Institute. The Institute will put to work Cardiff’s breakthroughs on the genetic origins of brain diseases, understanding how exactly they change human behaviour and developing new therapies to counter such illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The ground floor of the building will also offer an attractive open space for displays, lectures and conferences. The public will be able to engage with researchers from across all the University’s academic disciplines about their work.

Professor Tim Wess, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Estates, said: "This new building will help regenerate an important part of our city centre, establishing world-class research teams to address issues which affect us all. We also see it as a community facility, allowing the public even greater access to our work. We have worked very closely with the community and Cardiff Council on developing our plans and we are very grateful for all their interest and support."

Work should start on site this spring and the University will issue regular updates on the progress of the project.