MP hails ‘world class investment’ in Norwich Research Park: Mustard video

Topping out the soon to be completed Centrum building at Norwich Research Park. Left to right David Parfrey, Sally Ann Forsyth, Richard Bacon M.P and Alan Giles .Photo: Steve Adams Topping out the soon to be completed Centrum building at Norwich Research Park. Left to right David Parfrey, Sally Ann Forsyth, Richard Bacon M.P and Alan Giles .Photo: Steve Adams

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
8:58 AM

An £11.5m research and development hub moved one step closer to completion yesterday as constituency MP Richard Bacon, funders and contracters gathered to complete the main structure of the new Centrum building on Norwich Research Park.

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Mr Bacon marked the occasion - known as the topping out ceremony - in traditional style by pouring a bottle of Norfolk brewed beer on to the roof for good luck.

He said: “I was in Shanghai last week visiting a solar cell company that looked like it was part of a James Bond set.

“The only way we are going to stay in the global race is through investment in what we are good at.

“We don’t talk about it enough but we are world leaders here.

“To stay in that position demands world class investment and that is why I was so delighted when the chancellor announced the millions of pounds of funding for this building some years ago.”

The recently re-launched Great Yarmouth beer, Lacons, was chosen for the ceremony to highlight the power of bioscience; its reintroduction was only possible after scientists at the park revived ‘sleeping’ yeast for the first time in more than 50 years. The yeast was part of the National Collection of Yeast Cultures housed at the park’s institute of food research.

The Centrum, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and built by Morgan Sindall, is due to open in the Spring.

It will form the hub of commercial research and development at the park which is one of Europe’s leading centres for research in food, health and the environment.

The building is part of a larger multi-million pound BBSRC investment in the park to deliver innovation from the research base, new jobs and economic growth.

Park CEO Dr Sally-Ann Forsyth said the topping out ceremony “marks a significant milestone in the construction of the Centrum and the park development as a whole”.

She said: “The Centrum is an important development for the region. It will provide a central home for knowledge exchange for not just organisations on the park but also the wider local, national and international community.”

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