Leamington ‘megalab’ faces closure

The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory in Leamington Spa, which opened in the summer of 2021 at a cost of up to £1billion and was the largest of its kind in the country processing Covid 19 tests is now set to to close, with all but 50 of its 700 agency staff given 4 weeks notice.

Back in the summer of 2021 The Lowdown reported on the delays in opening the “mega lab” in the old Wolsley buildings in Leamington Spa, which was supposed to employ 600-plus people and take on the processing of millions of Covid tests, as part of the £37bn “test and trace” system chaired by Tory crony Dido Harding.

Harding had let slip to unions on the NHS Social Partnership Forum that a private company, Medacs, was to be given the contract to run the new labs, although like so many PPE contracts, the contract had not been advertised or put out to tender.

Medacs is a subsidiary of the multinational Impellam Group, chaired by former Conservative Party deputy chair and tax exile Lord Ashcroft.

Full story in The Lowdown, 6 February 2023