News & Insights

New multi-million Cefas HQ construction kicks off with ground-breaking ceremony

NEWS

A ground-breaking ceremony took place on Thursday 5th July, marking the beginning of construction of Cefas' (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) new Lowestoft marine science headquarters.

The event was attended by funding supporters from Defra and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and local Councillors, residents, staff and contractors and celebrates the commencement of the new office building at the Cefas site situated on Pakefield Cliffs, Lowestoft, Suffolk. New building works are due to begin shortly and are due for completion in May 2020.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science has been based in Lowestoft since 1902, when it began as a small fisheries laboratory. The Centre now employs some 600 staff between Lowestoft, Weymouth, English ports, Kuwait and Oman.

Following an address by CEO, Tom Karsten, a time capsule containing recent Cefas scientific papers; letters to the future from young Cefas apprentices; a re-useable water bottle - reflecting organisational commitments to reducing marine plastics, and other artefacts were buried to commemorate the occasion.

Tom Karsten, Cefas CEO, said; “I thank Defra, New Anglia LEP, local Councillors and the many others for their support for our exciting new Lowestoft Headquarters development. This will be a vital step in realising our vision of a new era of Cefas and Defra leadership in providing world class science to manage the marine and freshwater environment.

"Cefas has played a leading role in the UK and Lowestoft’s marine history over the past 116 years. The renewal of our Lowestoft Headquarters represents an important chapter in this history and future opportunities for our continued development."

Saul Humphrey, managing director of Morgan Sindall’s East region, said: “We are pleased to be officially marking the start of construction on this important development, which will provide Cefas with outstanding facilities to support their globally-relevant research and anchor our region as a centre for marine science excellence in the UK. Our team is already making good progress and we look forward to working closely with Cefas and the wider project team as we deliver this landmark centre.”