Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has visited Aberystwyth University to see the brand new state-of-the-art facilities which will be key in promoting and protecting animal and human health.
As part of the Sêr Cymru Centre of Excellence for Bovine TB, a new suite of laboratories have been completed which will allow scientists to conduct world-class research into bovine TB and other zoonotic diseases.
The development is backed by £3.6m from the Welsh Government under the Sêr Cymru II Programme which includes European Regional Development Funding (ERDF). The Welsh Government has also provided a further £1.9m.
The Centre is led by Professor Glyn Hewinson, who has worked on bovine tuberculosis for nearly thirty years and is a world-renowned expert in the field.
The Minister also heard more about the University establishing the first veterinary education facility in Wales with the School of Veterinary Science first intake of students taking place this September. This degree course complements undergraduate courses in veterinary biosciences, which have been offered at Aberystwyth for several years.
The visit concluded with a tour of AberInnovation, the recently completed centre for innovation and enterprise at the University’s Gogerddan campus, which offers world-leading facilities and expertise within the biotechnology, agri-tech and food and drink sectors.
AberInnovation was developed with £23.1m funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, and together with the £8.5m and £12m from Aberystwyth University and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), it has since become part of UK Research and Innovation.
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “It has been great to visit Aberystwyth University with Christianne Glossop, our Chief Veterinary Officer, and to see and hear about the exciting and important developments taking place.
“The new laboratories will be key in strengthening Wales’ research capacity with the Centre of Excellence vital for national and international research on bovine tuberculosis with the aim of eradicating the disease.
“I was very pleased to meet with Professor Hewinson who is leading the centre and is held in extremely high regard both here and abroad. His leadership and expertise will be crucial now and in the future.
“It was also great to see progress on Wales’ first School of Veterinary Science, which is being delivered in partnership with the Royal Veterinary College, London. I am sure it will have a strong future which will benefit our agricultural sector and veterinary profession.”
Professor Colin McInnes, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Aberystwyth University said: “Aberystwyth University was delighted to welcome the Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths.
“The University has a long and proud history of cutting-edge research addressing the needs of rural communities and businesses in Wales and internationally.
“The development of new facilities, including Wales’ first Veterinary School, world-class laboratories, and AberInnovation at Gogerddan, will enable a step change in activity, reinforcing Aberystwyth’s place as one of the leading research sites globally.”
Professor Glyn Hewinson, Head of the Sêr Cymru Centre of Excellence for Bovine TB at Aberystwyth University said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister and the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales to the Sêr Cymru Centre of Excellence for Bovine TB at Aberystwyth University and share with them our vision, the progress we have made and to gain a greater understanding of how we might work together most effectively to eradicate bovine tuberculosis from Wales.”