From Left to Right: Professor John Campbell – Professor of General Practice and Primary Care for Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry; Richard Ellis - Director (South West) for Interserve Construction; Professor Janice Kay – Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter; James Brent - Chairman of the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Time capsule burial marks beginning of new research centre

A formal time capsule burial ceremony was held earlier this week to celebrate the start of the construction for the new Research Innovation Learning Development (RILD) Centre, Exeter.

The time capsule, which has been buried for future generations to discover in years to come, contained various objects iconic to the project itself and the parties involved, including a copy of RD&E Trust’s annual strategic business plan and its staff newsletter.

The RILD Centre, due for completion October 2013, will bring together skills, learning and innovation to improve patient care in a single centre of excellence, housing facilities including clinical research areas and medical research laboratories, offices, meeting rooms, write up areas, primary laboratories and specialist laboratory space. The facility will also house the new Post Graduate Education Centre (PGEC) consisting of specialist teaching rooms, lecture theatres and seminar rooms, social areas and breakout spaces.

The £19.4m centre is being funded through the NHS ProCure21+ procurement framework, on behalf of joint clients the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, University of Exeter and Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry. The facility, located at the Royal Devon & Exeter Wonford hospital site, has also been awarded £4.75m of funding from the prestigious Wellcome-Wolfson capital awards scheme, as part of their investment in UK scientific infrastructure.

Professor Janice Kay, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) of the University of Exeter said: "This world-class facility will enhance the reputation of research from the region and benefit patients in the South West and around the globe. It will help Exeter further its reputation for being a leading centre for medical research, particularly around diabetes. This kind of facility is vital to support research and education which improves lives and helps benefit the local economy."

Chairman of the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust Mr James Brent said: “We know that the RILD centre building will come to represent the shared passion and commitment between the academic and clinical expertise in Exeter to improve health and patient care. The centre will be a focal point of education, training and research and strengthen our partnership with the University of Exeter and Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry.”

The stylish, modern, five storey facility will be linked at both ground and first floor levels to the existing Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry, and will incorporate a highly glazed central ‘hub’, flanked by accommodation wings. The building is expected to be awarded a BREEAM Excellent rating, featuring the use of Photovoltaic’s on its roof, along with materials selected throughout echoing those traditionally used locally.

Date: 14 June 2012