October 22, 2021

Multi-million-pound new university research facility for Cornwall completed

The Devon and Cornwall division of Midas Construction has developed a state-of-the-art £5.5m building in Cornwall to house the University of Exeter’s pioneering new Science and Engineering Research Support Facility (SERSF).

Midas Construction, part of The Midas Group – one of the largest independent construction companies in the South-West – won the contract to create the new building after previously delivering a number of successful projects for the University of Exeter.

The SERSF building is expected to help grow the economy in Cornwall and boost job creation and wealth by furthering the county’s education and research assets.

“We are proud to have once again worked successfully with the University of Exeter on another fantastic new building for the West Country, and to have delivered a first-class building that will bring substantial benefits to those working and studying in Cornwall for many years to come.”

Andy McAdam, Divisional Director of the Devon and Cornwall division of Midas Construction

Work began on the facility at the Penryn Campus in March 2014 and completed this autumn, with a launch event held on 22 October when research collaborators and Government officials joined University of Exeter staff.

The SERSF building will also house academics from the university’s Business School as well as the Marine Renewables team, and growing Centre for Ecology and Conservation. The facility will provide modern space for teaching, research and business engagement, and also house The Collaboratory, an innovative facility designed to facilitate collaborations with entrepreneurs.

Professor Mark Goodwin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Affairs) at the University of Exeter, said: “The SERSF facility is a symbol of our success as an institution. The academics housed in this space have brought in nearly £5m in grants over the past three academic years, which has required that we construct a new building to provide them space to conduct their ground-breaking research.”

The two-storey, concrete-framed 1,200 sq m building was designed by Burwell Deakins Architects and built by Midas Construction’s Devon and Cornwall division to the highest possible levels of environmental sustainability, earning a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating on completion.

Andy McAdam, Divisional Director of the Devon and Cornwall division of Midas Construction, said: “We are proud to have once again worked successfully with the University of Exeter on another fantastic new building for the West Country, and to have delivered a first-class building that will bring substantial benefits to those working and studying in Cornwall for many years to come.

“As a construction company committed to supporting the communities we work within, we were delighted that this project also enabled Midas to create four full time local jobs, four apprenticeship schemes and seven work experience placements to support those training locally to further their career opportunities.”

The University of Exeter has around 1,800 students based at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, which it jointly owns and manages with Falmouth University.

The SERSF facility was jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme (£3.9m) and the University of Exeter (£1.6m).