Muir Construction to lead £11m build of veterinary facility in Inverness

An artist’s impression of the new SRUC Rural and Veterinary Innovation Centre (Image credit: Threesixty Architecture).

SCOTLAND’S Rural University College (SRUC) has had £11 million plans for the build of a new Veterinary Innovation Centre in Inverness approved by the Highland Council.

The learning institute has confirmed that preparatory works are now scheduled to begin at Inverness Campus in the coming weeks, following the appointment of Muir Construction as main contractor.

It said that the centre will harness expertise in big data and research into animal epidemiology to help create and grow businesses. It added that the facility will also help develop products and services to better monitor, track, and manage animal diseases.

SRUC is now looking for small to medium-sized animal biotech businesses interested in joining the centre as potential partners. It said that the facility will offer them development laboratories and business facilities, as well as allowing for access to expertise and the ‘burgeoning’ life sciences community in Inverness.

Now planning has been granted, and the funding package confirmed, the team at the SRUC Rural and Veterinary Innovation Centre is looking for new and existing small to medium-sized animal biotech businesses interested in joining as potential partners.

The learning institute worked closely with the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which owns the Inverness Campus – with the design of the building undertaken by Inverness-based, Threesixty Architecture, and the build to be project managed by Currie & Brown.

Professor Wayne Powell, principal and chief executive of SRUC, said, “The Rural and Veterinary Innovation Centre will be an important addition to expanding the biotech community in Inverness. The new centre will grow jobs and the economy. With a heightened awareness of the link between human and animal epidemiology, this new initiative is at the right time and in the right place.”

Ruaraidh MacNeil, director of business infrastructure at the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, added, “This is very welcome news both for SRUC and Inverness campus, which is now making a significant contribution to growing the region’s life sciences sector.

“SRUC is a leading player in rural and veterinary education and we are delighted that Inverness has been chosen for this exciting new development. The new innovation centre will make a valuable addition to the broad range of scientific and medical expertise that is becoming established here and creating high quality jobs and research opportunities. It will also offer new location options for animal health companies wishing to work alongside veterinary experts.”