University of Sussex biomedical sciences building

The University of Sussex, UK, is seeking contractors to build a new £49m life sciences complex.

Architects are aiming to develop potential designs for the proposed School of Life Sciences, which the university’s campus masterplan was approved for in July.

The proposed designs are yet to receive planning approval to begin working on the construction works.

University of Sussex pro-vice-chancellor (Research) Professor Michael Davies said: "In recent years, we have started to make major breakthroughs in our understanding of the causes of neuro-degenerative diseases and cancers and how they might be treated.

"To build on this important work and explore the new frontiers of biomedicine, we are planning to create a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility that will bring all biomedical researchers at Sussex under one roof."

The new building will be created after refurbishment of an existing adjacent genome building and a connected four storey building on the site of a car park.

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"Architects are aiming to develop potential designs for the proposed School of Life Sciences, which the university’s campus masterplan was approved for in July."

The project is expected to house teaching laboratories and spaces for life sciences students, a bio innovation centre, a new cellular and molecular neuroscience centre, an expanded Sussex centre for advanced microscopy, a new medicinal chemistry and drug discovery centre. In addition, it will also feature a new joint medical school/life sciences screening and target discovery centre, along with spaces allocated for a café and social meeting for the staff and students.

The university is also trying to develop a housing area on campus, which works are underway for.

University of Sussex registrar and secretary John Duffy said: "As we develop our campus, housing is a key element within the university’s overall plan and we have been working closely with the team at Balfour Beatty to finalise detailed specifications for these new residences, in preparation for a planning application.

"As soon as we have completed this next stage of preparation, we will share the proposed designs and information about the development with both the campus and local communities, so that we can understand any views they may have."

Image: Designs are still in development for the biomedical sciences building and subject to planning approval. Photo: courtesy of University of Sussex – School of Life Sciences.