Minister launches Midlothian research laboratory

The new �1.6 million SRUC Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory was opened  by Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment. Photo by Chris Watt.
The new �1.6 million SRUC Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory was opened by Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment. Photo by Chris Watt.

A new £1.6 million centre for animal disease surveillance and research was opened last week by the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Environment.

The new Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory, at the Moredun Research Institute at the Pentlands Science Park, was opened last week by Mairi Gougeon MSP.

The new �1.6 million SRUC Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory was opened  by Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment. Photo by Chris Watt.

The new �1.6 million SRUC Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory was opened by Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment. Photo by Chris Watt.

The new laboratory creates a closer working relationship between SRUC and the Moredun Research Institute. It is at the centre of a strategic partnership between SRUC and Moredun to advance livestock health, welfare production, disease surveillance, and resilience through joint research.

The Scottish Government has supported the creation of the new laboratory through a low-cost loan from the Scottish Funding Council’s Financial Transactions Programme.

She said: “The new laboratory will enhance veterinary surveillance in Scotland and create a centre of excellence at the Moredun Institute, further strengthening Scotland’s capacity and expertise in animal health. The laboratory will help to protect and develop our valuable livestock sector and the contribution it makes to the rural economy, I look forward to seeing how this work progresses.”

Wayne Powell, principal and chief executive of SRUC, said: “Animal health is a cornerstone of a thriving rural economy and the new laboratory offers a step-change in disease surveillance for the whole of the country.

“Working with the excellent team at the Moredun Institute, this centre of excellence offers us new opportunities for research and collaboration. Partnerships like ours are the future of rural technology research for Scotland.”

Martin Fairbairn, chief operating officer and deputy chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “The new centre and the partnership between SRUC and the Moredun Research Institute is very good news for the rural sector in Scotland. The Scottish Funding Council’s £1.6 million support for the new laboratory underlines our commitment to cutting edge research and innovation as an essential part of Scotland’s future prosperity.”