Construction on Merck's London research hub set to begin in April 2023
Six years after first laying out the plans for a $1.3 billion, 220,000 square-foot London research hub, Merck will finally break ground on the new center in April of this year, according to the newly-appointed principal contractor.
Mace, chosen by London-based developer Precis Group, said in a news release on Tuesday that the 10-story center will be completed in 2025. It will be housed within Belgrove House on Euston Road across from King’s Cross railway station, right inside London’s Knowledge Quarter. Eventually, about 800 researchers and office staff will work at Merck’s London Discovery Research Centre, according to the contractor, including people in marketing, finance and administration.
The center’s employees will be mostly consolidated from the company’s various sites around the country, but it will also open 120 new positions for scientists and technicians. Researchers will conduct early-stage research on age-related diseases, making the labs Merck’s first to conduct that type of work outside the US. Currently, Merck’s researchers work out of lab facilities at the London BioScience Innovation Centre and at the Francis Crick Institute.
Merck described the center as a “research and business hub.”
But it won’t just be a research campus. There will also be an education and outreach center, a publicly-accessible auditorium, a step-free entrance for King’s Cross and an educational outreach program collaboration between Merck and Camden STEAM.
The campus will have 180,000 square feet of net lettable space for Merck, according to Mace. Merck is known as MSD outside the US and Canada.
“It has been designed using sustainable materials and includes an innovative double-skin façade to reduce solar gain. Carbon emissions generated through construction, operation and future fit-out will be reduced,” the news release reads.
There have been significant delays in getting the London Discovery Research Centre across the finish line. The original plan was to finish construction and then open in 2020 but finding a location in the desired area of London’s Knowledge Quarter was challenging.
In 2020, Endpoints News reported that Merck planned to begin construction in late 2021 also with a finish date of 2025.