Technology firm reveals Oxfordshire expansion plans

The UK’s national synchrotron light source, Diamond Light Source, has secured planning permission to extend its presence at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, a move facilitated by the National property consultancy Carter Jonas.

Working like a giant microscope, Diamond harnesses the power of electrons to produce a bright light, facilitating the study of a variety of subjects.

The planned facility expansion aims to prepare the company for a forthcoming upgrade, Diamond-II, which constitutes a significant milestone in the progression of technologies used for advanced research.

The project will deliver a new machine and new beamlines with a series of upgrades to optics, detectors, sample environments, sample delivery capabilities and computing. 

The new facility will create space for assembly processes and storage, facilitating the assembly of the 48 section machine.

It will also provide office and laboratory space for around 100 members of staff.

The extended site, on the southern side of Diamond’s circular building, will cover a 0.97ha area, accommodating a range of offices and spaces designed to cater to various working styles and team events.

A south-facing staff rest area, complete with a balcony, will also provide informal touchdown and collaboration space.

Nicky Brock, a Partner at Carter Jonas in Oxford, said: “We are extremely pleased to have achieved this planning consent on behalf of Diamond Light Source.

“This is an extremely important development, which will enable the research carried out at the Synchrotron to remain at the forefront of technology and stay competitive with comparable facilities around the world.”

Dr Richard Walker, interim project director and technical director at Diamond Light Source, added: “Diamond Light Source has established itself as a world-class synchrotron facility enabling research by leading academic and industrial groups in physical and life sciences.

“To continue delivering the world-changing science that Diamond leads and enables, Diamond-II is a project that will deliver a new machine, new flagship beamlines, critical upgrades to several beamlines, and an extensive series of enhancements to optics, detectors, sample environments, and computing to support the capacity of the new machine.

“The user experience will be further enhanced through access to integrated and correlative methods as well as broad application of automation in both instrumentation and analysis.

“Diamond-II will be transformative in both spatial resolution and throughput and will offer users streamlined access to enhanced instruments for life and physical sciences.”

In achieving this planning success, Carter Jonas collaborated with architects and engineers from Ridge and Partners LLP.

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