Press release

A new era for marine science: green light for new Cefas headquarters in Lowestoft

Planning permission granted for Lowestoft redevelopment of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) headquarters.

A front view of the entrance of the proposed new site

A new era of marine science is set to become a reality, with planning permission granted to the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) to redevelop its headquarters site in Lowestoft. The proposals will invest £16 million to create a leading centre for applied science by building a new and modern office facility and by refurbishing exiting laboratory facilities.

The project will provide Cefas and Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) with significant running cost savings, greatly enhanced scientific collaboration and innovation workspace and improved environmental performance.

Refurbishment work is planned to start in November 2017 and the new office building is planned to commence in January 2018, once final partnership funding is in place. Morgan Sindall have been appointed contractors to lead the project works which are planned to complete by March 2019.

Fisheries Minister, George Eustice said:

Cefas has always been at the forefront of marine research and innovation, and I’m pleased this new centre is one step closer to reality. Once complete it will help bolster our research and understanding of sea life - solidifying our position as a world leader in marine science and a champion of sustainable fishing.

Tom Karsten, Cefas Chief Executive said:

Since 1902, Cefas has been providing UK Government with scientific evidence and advice to support the fishing industry and to ensure the sustainable use of the marine environment.  I thank Defra, local Councillors and Planners for their commitment to these exciting proposals for our new Lowestoft Headquarters. This project represents a vital step in realising our vision for Cefas; to deliver world class science for the marine and freshwater environment.  

Notes:

  1. The Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) supports governments, businesses and society in the UK and internationally to ensure that seas and rivers are healthy and productive, thereby enabling food security and sustainable development. Cefas is the UK’s most diverse centre for applied marine and freshwater science. Starting as a small fisheries laboratory in Lowestoft in 1902, Cefas now employs 550 staff between the sites in Lowestoft and Weymouth, and our offices in English ports, Kuwait and Oman.

  2. Cefas is an executive agency of the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) within the UK government. It provides ministers and government officials in the UK with impartial expert advice and evidence relating to marine and closely related environments and is a provider of UK statutory monitoring and inspection services, including national emergency response capabilities.

  3. For more information contact: estates2020@cefas.co.uk or visit the Cefas Estates webpage.

Published 13 October 2017