New labs at Scotland’s oldest university after devastating fire


SCOTLAND’s OLDEST university has announced their world-leading biomedical sciences department will return in the form of a £9 million Portkabin Complex.

St Andrews University built temporary accommodation to allow researchers to continue with their pioneering research five months after a fire devastated the biomedical building on the North Haugh.

The temporary facility will be constructed of 44 Portakabin units incorporating hi-tech research laboratories.

The location of where the temporary Portakabin accommodation will be based. Image supplied

Flames ripped through the biomedical science building in February causing extensive water damage to the labs.

Following the clearance works undertaken in the building, including the careful removal of the chemicals and equipment, a full assessment of the damage will take place over the coming months.

The temporary purpose built labs have now been built in York and will be transferred to the historic Fife town next week.

An artistic impression of what the Portakabin accommodation could look like. Image supplied

They will ensure the important research at the Biomedical Sciences can be re-started while the lengthy operation to recover the building continues.

Police said the fire was started accidentally with university chiefs fearing crucial research had been lost.

The university is also building new £3m chemistry labs in the Purdie Building at the North Haugh.

An artistic impression of what the incorporated hi-tech labs could look like. Image supplied

Professor Tom Brown, Dean of Science at the University said: “The fire at the Biomedical Sciences building was devastating to not only the researchers, students and staff here in St Andrews, but was also felt across the whole scientific community.”

“The construction of the temporary lab facilities ensures that the ground-breaking research carried out within BMS continues and lets the world know that we are open for business, delivering results of real global significance.”