CONSTRUCTION started today on Scotland’s new national blood centre, part of the £4.5 billion project in Scotland.
The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) received £43 million from the Scottish Government.
The National Centre of Excellence will be the hub for the processing, testing, supply, research and development for blood and human donor tissues and cells at Heriot-Watt Research Park in Edinburgh.
The facility will be completed by mid-2017 and more than 400 staff members are expected to move to the site.
It will consolidate and modernise services, which are currently carried out over a number of sites.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon marked the start of the development.
She said: “Currently projects worth around £750 million are in construction across Scotland. This government’s continued commitment to infrastructure investment is delivering quality services among the people who visited the new sites, creating jobs and helping to grow the economy.
“This new state-of-the-art centre will put Scotland ahead of the rest of the UK for its work researching and testing blood.
“It will also deliver investment and opportunities to the local community and will mean we can continue to provide sustainable, high quality and continually improving healthcare services to patients across Scotland.”
Mary Morgan, director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, said: “The development of this new facility has been years in the planning and it is very exciting to be on the threshold of the construction phase.
“Consolidating many of our services will mean we can continue to meet the growing blood transfusion needs of patients across the country while providing the highest quality working environment for our staff and on-going contribution to Scotland’s leading life-science research and development industry.”
Scotland’s Blood Transfusion Charity, Give Blood for Scotland, claims that only four per cent of people in Scotland give blood. The country has a constant need for blood donors, with more than 1,000 donors required every day to meet hospital demand. People need blood for many reasons – after trauma, general supply or to support cancer.