Crop science organisation NIAB has opened new headquarters in Cambridge following a two-year, £25 million redevelopment and construction project.
The new Lawrence Weaver Road campus includes offices, state-of-the-art laboratories, growth room facilities and meeting rooms.
It is sited on NIAB’s original Old Granary and John Bingham Laboratory site, opposite the organisation’s home for the past 100 years on Huntingdon Road. The old headquarters site, based around the original 1921 building, was sold for redevelopment in 2018 but NIAB has remained there until now.
Developing the new site involved demolishing the old workshop and farm buildings, refurbishing existing offices and laboratories and constructing a new three-storey Crop Science Building and full-height reception atrium, plus conference room.
CEO and director Dr Tina Barsby commented: “The development is an exciting new chapter in NIAB’s history following our centenary celebration last year, reflecting NIAB’s ambitions and aspirations across the regional, national and international agri-science and business communities.
“We firmly believe it will help improved collaboration and communication across NIAB and with the new Crop Science Centre partnership, and provide much improved facilities and flexibility in working spaces.”
The Crop Science Centre is a partnership between NIAB and the University of Cambridge, which involves working with industrial partners to translate the university’s plant research into outputs for the farmer, processor and consumer in the UK and around the world.
The centre will be home to researchers and students from the university’s Plant Sciences and sister research departments, the Cambridge Sainsbury Laboratory, and other UK and international research institutes.
NIAB has opened its new Lawrence Weaver campus just nine months after moving into two new office and laboratory buildings at its neighbouring Park Farm site, to the north of Cambridge.
Park Farm already housed the MacLeod Complex, NIAB’s 2,500m2 research glasshouses, and the Sophi Taylor Conference Centre. The new ‘barns’ include stores for onions and potatoes, seed stores for the pathology and genetics and breeding teams, spore-proof growth rooms and analytical services laboratories and offices.