The Cellular Therapies Facility was built in 2006. It was funded with significant investment from the Regional Development Agency One North East (ONE), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The resulting clean rooms were then commissioned for use from spring 2007 as part of an integrated project with refurbishment of the laboratories of Newcastle Fertility Centre at the International Centre for Life.
The facility was built by Laing O’Rourke as part of a ‘Procure 21’ programme. Specialist clean room design and build was sub-contracted to Thermal Transfer Ltd. A number of external consultants with experience of GMP and MHRA compliance were employed to make sure that the design of the build would comply with the strict regulations that would need to be upheld if the rooms were to become a useful resource for the University, Trust and to potential external companies contracted to use this multi-million pound investment.
The facility has been designed primarily to support the world class scientific research into cellular therapies being conducted by scientists at Newcastle and Durham Universities together with clinicians at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. A secondary, but equally important, aim was to provide a resource to the wider UK and European Stem Cell community (academic and industry).