European and regional funding gives Merseyside biotech sector a boost.

A new Centre for Tropical and Infectious Diseases, to be built at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, has secured £18m of public funding. The Merseyside Objective One programme, which is partly EU-funded, and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) are each investing £9m to finance the project. The institute, which will develop treatments and vaccines for some of the world’s deadliest diseases, will strengthen Merseyside’s position as one of the leading international centres for biotechnology.

The announcement was made by Minister for Industry and the Regions, Alun Michael, who said that it meant “better prospects for those faced with the threat of these deadly diseases, and better prospects for the local economy, which can expect to benefit by millions of pounds every year.”

The four-storey building, which is due to be completed in 2007, will house laboratories and research space to carry out clinical trials, creating more than 600 jobs. NWDA chairman Bryan Gray said that as well as enhancing the region’s biotechnology sector it would “contribute to the regeneration of Liverpool, bringing 1800m2 of brownfield land back into productive use.”