The University of Glasgow will host a major COVID-19 testing facility in Glasgow, in support of current UK and Scottish Governments and NHS efforts against the coronavirus pandemic.

The facility is part of a series of measures to increase testing and response to the spread of COVID-19 across the UK. It will be opened in collaboration with the Scottish Government and and industry experts from BioAscent Discovery Ltd and the University of Dundee’s Drug Discovery Unit.

The new testing centre will be able to provide capacity for substantially more COVID-19 tests per day, and will be located in the University’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus. The site, currently the University of Glasgow’s Clinical Innovation Zone, is already designed to meet industrial scale standards and will therefore be able to begin testing in mid-April.

The new testing facility will be staffed on a 24/7 basis by more than 500 volunteers including highly-experienced molecular scientists, technicians and bioinformaticians – all with the relevant skills and experience to carry out COVID-19 testing. All the scientists and technicians involved have volunteered their services to assist the NHS at this critical time.

The Glasgow centre is one of a number of new hub laboratories to be opened in order to increase COVID-19 testing during the crisis. The centres will be coordinated by the Medicines Discovery Catapult, and the project supported by partners Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioAscent Discovery Ltd and the University of Dundee, Amazon, Boots and Royal Mail, alongside the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, University of Glasgow Vice Principal and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “The World Health Organisation has been clear that testing is essential to push back the spread of this new coronavirus. I am pleased that the University of Glasgow can now offer the country this new, large-scale testing facility, in conjunction with our industry partners and the NHS.

“I am incredibly grateful to all colleagues who have volunteered their time, expertise and skills for this testing facility. As a result of their willingness to help, we have a team of highly skilled people, a clinical space and the core equipment to start work alongside our NHS colleagues immediately.”