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New UK Biobank headquarters prepares for construction at Bruntwood SciTech’s Manchester Science Park

New UK Biobank headquarters prepares for construction at Bruntwood SciTech’s Manchester Science Park

This news was covered in the media, including articles in Manchester Evening News (with an additional article about UK Biobank alongside),  The Daily Express, Business Manchester, Business Live and Business Insider, as well as being mentioned on Sky News.

In an exciting moment for the future of UK Biobank, this week (Wednesday 7 February) the organisation welcomed the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, to Bruntwood SciTech’s Manchester Science Park to officially mark the future site of UK Biobank’s new £75m centre1 ready for construction. UK Biobank is the world's most comprehensive source of health data used for research, providing access to de-identified data to approved researchers worldwide.

The cutting-edge 131,000 sq ft new building, of which UK Biobank will occupy three floors, will include laboratory space and a latest-generation robotic freezer that stores and retrieves UK Biobank’s 20 million biological samples four times faster than before, revolutionising the pace of scientific discovery. It will increase UK Biobank’s capacity, speed and efficiency and is supported by a £127.6m award from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Infrastructure Fund for the next phase of UK Biobank’s development2.

UK Biobank will be located alongside fast-growth life science businesses working in diagnostics, genomics, biotech and precision medicine in the highly specialist purpose-built building, which includes specialist labs and features such as increased vibration resistance, piped gas distribution systems, enhanced cooling and ventilation systems, high security access and 100GB superfast connectivity. The new facility will be 100% electric and net zero carbon in construction and operation in its shared spaces - one of the first lab spaces in the UK to be so.

"UK Biobank is a unique resource, powering research and innovation in the biomedical sciences, creating jobs, and connecting pioneering organisations. UKRI is investing significantly in UK Biobanks’ future. Recent enhancements to UK Biobank, such as the addition of whole genome sequencing data of its half a million participants, are drawing even more scientists to the database, increasing its potential to improve public health. This new facility will help to drive research and innovation on disease prevention and treatment."

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS, Chief Executive of UKRI

The Secretary of State was joined by senior representatives from UKRI, the University of Manchester, Bruntwood SciTech, and UK Biobank. To mark this celebration, the Secretary of State completed the planting of the ‘living wall’ hoarding for the site, which will be maintained throughout construction before becoming part of a 7m high, two-storey green wall3 wrapping around the building to act as a layer of insulation, increase biodiversity and improve air quality.

"UK Biobank makes an unparalleled contribution to science across the whole world, by putting invaluable information at researchers’ fingertips. It is already unlocking insights with the potential to detect Parkinson’s sooner, and tackle heart disease. It is without question a jewel in the crown of UK science, and an envy of the world. UK Biobank’s new home at Manchester Science Park – supported with an accelerated £21 million from Government – will mean it has the state-of-the-art facilities it needs, to keep its place at the forefront of our understanding of human health."

The Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan

The campus is one of the UK’s most well-established life science and technology hubs, home to 150 startups, scaleups, and globally leading businesses, and is located within the heart of the Oxford Road Corridor innovation district - Europe’s largest clinical academic campus. Supported by the University of Manchester, the new building importantly puts UK Biobank near leading institutions operating across research, academia, business and the NHS. This will provide UK Biobank with new opportunities for collaboration between multi-disciplinary researchers and industry which will stimulate innovation, health impact and economic growth in the Manchester region and beyond.

"The UK's ambition to be a global leader in life sciences is contingent on the success and continued growth of regional hubs like Manchester Science Park. The arrival of UK Biobank at the campus marks an exciting milestone in its evolution, further cementing its position as one of the UK’s primary locations for innovation, collaboration, and discovery, and where businesses can gain direct access to some of the world’s most pioneering research, and a fully integrated clinical and academic ecosystem."

Dr Kath Mackay, Chief Scientific Officer for Bruntwood SciTech

"Manchester is home to a globally acclaimed science and technology base and I’m really excited for UK Biobank to join this bustling hub of terrific research organisations which work closely with the University of Manchester to push the boundaries of science."

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell FRS FMedSci, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester and member of UK Biobank’s Board

The new centre is due to open in 2026 and will house UK Biobank’s biological samples, laboratories, headquarters and around half of its 250 staff. It will dramatically increase the speed at which UK Biobank can supply samples to researchers, allow for the storage of more samples as UK Biobank expands, and be more environmentally efficient. With a new home to store more samples, and generous donations from philanthropists and Government in 2023, UK Biobank can now embark on pilot projects which will provide unrivalled data on human health and disease, such as:

  • Repeating the first measures taken at recruitment for every participant. This will gather incredibly useful information about how people’s minds and bodies change over middle and old age and how this is related to disease development. It will also provide an opportunity to collect new measures to enable research into healthy ageing.
  • Investigating different types of dementia and cancer. In the UK 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and 1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. There are several types of dementia, and even more forms of cancer. With more data from UK Biobank participants on these diseases there can be more research into their potential causes and the development of targeted treatments.
  • Trialling remote forms of assessment, such as apps and wearable technology. This will open up a new way of collecting detailed data on participants’ health, including objective measures of movement and sleep.
"This new facility is an essential step forward in ensuring that researchers across the globe can more efficiently access our millions of samples to turn them into data which can be used to propel research and innovation. My huge thanks go to UKRI whose generous funds have made the development of this new facility possible."

Professor Sir Rory Collins FRS FMedSci, Principal Investigator and CEO of UK Biobank

This ceremony is particularly timely as it coincides with two UK Biobank milestones: 10,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using UK Biobank's data, and 80,000 participants have had full body image scans collected as part of our efforts to complete the world's largest imaging project of 100,000 volunteers.

"None of this could exist without our amazing participants who give up their time and energy to provide the scientific community with the ultimate toolbox for investigating human health. I offer my eternal thanks to those half a million altruistic people"

Professor Sir Rory Collins FRS FMedSci, Principal Investigator and CEO of UK Biobank

For more information and requests for interview please contact:

UK Biobank: Naomi Clarke, Head of Press, UK Biobank +44 (0)7903 158 979    

Bruntwood SciTech: Ricky Ambury or Francesca Kilby at Citypress +44 (0) 7540 047833 - +44 (0) 7535 390007 -

Notes to Editors

UK Biobank is a large-scale biomedical database and research resource containing de-identified genetic, lifestyle and health information and biological samples from half a million UK participants. It is the most comprehensive and widely-used dataset of its kind, and is globally accessible to approved researchers who are undertaking health-related research that is in the public interest, whether they are from academic, commercial, government or charitable settings. UK Biobank is helping to advance modern medicine and enable better understanding of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart disease and stroke. Over 30,000 researchers from more than 90 countries are registered to use UK Biobank and more than 10,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published as a result. UK Biobank is supported by Wellcome and the Medical Research Council, as well as the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the UK Government’s National Institute for Health and Care Research and Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, Griffin Catalyst and Schmidt Futures., @uk_biobank, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram

Bruntwood SciTech is the UK’s leading developer of city-wide innovation ecosystems and specialist environments, helping companies - particularly those in the science and technology sectors - to form, scale and grow. It is also the largest dedicated property platform serving the growth of the UK’s knowledge economy to become a global science and technology superpower.

A joint venture between Bruntwood, Legal & General and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF), Bruntwood SciTech provides high quality office and laboratory space and tailored business support, offering unrivalled access to finance, talent and markets, an extensive clinical, academic and public partner network and a sector-specialist community of more than 1100 companies. 

Bruntwood SciTech is experienced in creating and developing strategic partnerships with UK regional cities, universities and NHS Trusts to drive economic growth. Its unique structure and funding vehicle more easily deploys long-term patient capital in innovation infrastructure, ensuring local economic benefit and growth.   

Valued at £1.5bn, Bruntwood SciTech has a portfolio of 4.8m sq ft across nine campus locations and 31 city centre innovation hubs in Manchester, Cheshire, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge and Glasgow. It has plans to create a £5bn portfolio by 2032 and has a 3.6m sq ft secured development pipeline.

Its campus locations include Alderley Park in Cheshire; Innovation Birmingham; Birmingham Health Innovation Campus in partnership with the University of Birmingham; Melbourn Science Park in South Cambridgeshire; Liverpool Science Park as a shareholder in Sciontec Liverpool; and a cluster in the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district - Manchester Science Park, Citylabs in partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), Circle Square - a joint venture with Vita Group; and the £1.7bn JV partnership with The University of Manchester - ID Manchester.

Its city centre innovation hubs include Met Tower in Glasgow; Bloc, 111 Piccadilly, Pall Mall and The Alberton in Manchester; Platform and West Village in Leeds; and Cornerblock in Birmingham.    



  1. This figure of £75m includes the build of the new facility, the specialist equipment it will contain (such as the state-of-the art robotic freezer) and other related infrastructure costs.
  2. The funding was announced in June 2022 (further details here).
  3. A visualisation of the 7m tall, two storey living green wall can be seen in the images below