The UK Government has announced that a new laboratory processing Covid-19 tests will open in Leamington Spa in the West Midlands in early 2021, creating 1,500-2,000 jobs. The National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace service has already started the recruitment drive for laboratory technicians, data scientists and bioscientists. According to the announcement, another laboratory will also open at an unconfirmed site in Scotland later in 2021, taking the total number of new jobs to 4,000.
The Health Secretary said the UK was building a ‘significant diagnostics industry’ to be better able to respond to potential future epidemics.
The NHS Test and Trace service was established in May 2020. It is an outsourced service provided to the National Health Service in England, to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The new Covid-19 laboratory in Leamington Spa is in addition to the network of seven Lighthouse Labs across the UK, including those operated by Perkin Elmer.