The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology together with Wellcome, one of the world’s largest biomedical charities, today (Wednesday 6th September) announced approval for the innovative update and expansion programme to the UK’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source, at a total project cost of £519.4M. The investment will see 86% come from the UK Government and 14% from Wellcome, the same proportion that has funded Diamond from its beginning.
The full approval of the upgrade, Diamond-II, is part of a major investment drive in cutting-edge facilities to keep UK researchers and innovators at the forefront of discovery and help address global challenges.
Sir Adrian Smith, Chair of the Board of Diamond Light Source and President of the Royal Society comments:
We are delighted that the government and the Wellcome Trust have agreed this substantial investment in science infrastructure which will ensure the UK is at the forefront of world class science. This investment in Diamond-II will strengthen the UK’s global scientific leadership and confirms the UK’s commitment to building on the success Diamond has achieved so far.
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, the Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, said:
Our national synchrotron may fly under the radar as we go about our daily lives, but it has been crucial to some of the most defining discoveries in recent history – from kickstarting Covid drug development that allowed us to protect millions of Britons to advancing treatment for HIV.
Our investment will ensure one of the most pioneering scientific facilities in the world continues to advance discoveries that transform our health and prosperity, while creating jobs, growing the UK economy and ensuring our country remains a scientific powerhouse.
The overall transformational Diamond-II upgrade will take several years of planning and implementation. This will include a “dark period” of 18 months during which there will be no synchrotron light for the user community, followed by a period to fully launch the new facility with three new flagship beamlines and major upgrades to many other beamlines.
Read more on the Diamond website
Image: Touring Diamond’s experimental hall during celebrations to mark the funding announcement for Diamond-II.
L to R: Dr Richard Walker, Technical Director and Senior Responsible Owner for Diamond-II, Beth Thompson MBE Chief Strategy Officer at Wellcome, Dr Adrian Mancuso, Diamond’s Physical Science Director, Prof Sir Dave Stuart, Diamond’s Life Sciences Director, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, the Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, Sir Adrian Smith, Chair of the Board of Diamond, and Executive Chair of STFC Professor Mark Thomson.
Credit: Diamond Light Source