£150m grant will Wellcome research to the modern world

May 11, 2001

The Wellcome Trust has announced £150 million of grants to help universities modernise their research facilities.

The 34 grants were shared between 25 institutions, including £7.9 million for the Institute of Cancer Research to build a Cancer Genomics Centre.

Other winning projects included a centre for language, mind and emotion at York University and the refurbishment of Guy's Tower for King's College London's dental institute.

Edinburgh, Leeds and Leicester universities and Umist received more than £10 million each.

Successful bidders will receive up to three-quarters of the project cost and will be expected to find the remainder from private resources.

The money comes from Wellcome's contribution to the Science Research Investment Fund, a collaboration set up by Wellcome and the government to rebuild the UK science infrastructure.

Wellcome said that a further £75 million from the fund was available for project-related equipment, to be allocated by the trust's normal competitive funding mechanisms.

Wellcome Trust director Mike Dexter praised this government for "doing more to build the science base than any other in recent times". But Dr Dexter warned that running the facilities was not a job for charities.

"The next government will need to give urgent consideration to providing universities with sufficient funds to run and maintain their improved research facilities," he said.

The SRIF was a one-off £1 billion fund. The government announced £600 million of grants earlier this year.

But the need to supply a quarter of the funding from other sources left some institutions with large bills. University College London won £46.4 million of government SRIF money but needs to provide £15.5 million itself - the college is expecting to end the financial year in deficit.

Previously, Wellcome collaborated with the government in setting up the £750 million Joint Infrastructure Fund.

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