The Queen opens The Francis Crick Institute in London

18 November 2016

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh recently opened The Francis Crick Institute, a £650 million biomedical research facility in London. Development of the project begun in 2008, with Arup called in to provide procurement strategy and building engineering expertise.

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical and health research institute, headquartered in London. The institute is focused on understanding the development of diseases to find new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases. Francis Crick brings together a range of scientific disciplines to develop health care related solutions, employing around 1,250 scientists and 250 support staff when it reaches full capacity in 2017. The founding members include the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the Wellcome Trust, University College London (UCL), Imperial College London and King’s College London.

The institute was officially opened this month by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by the Duke of York. As part of the opening ceremony, the royals toured the new building from the Crick next door to St Pancras and the British Library, speaking with scientists and major donors, as well as unveiling a plaque to mark the opening of the institute.

One of the major contractors involved in the development of the £650 million institute is Arup. The professional services firm delivered a procurement strategy and provided building engineering expertise to the project, including design of the complex building services required to accommodate the sometimes sensitive research equipment. The design of the building achieved an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating.

Steven Berry, Associate Director at Arup, says, “This was an exciting project to be a part of. We needed to work closely with the Crick’s scientists, the designers and the contractor to make sure that the multi-purpose needs of the building were met. Each lab has been adapted and purpose-built for each research department, which meant a lot of collaboration to understand the specific needs of all disciplines using the facilities.”


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Common People Festival falls into administration

04 February 2019

Corporate rescue and restructuring consultancy Begbies Traynor has been appointed administrator for the Common People Festival. The company behind music events in Oxford and Southampton owes creditors more than £500,000, and it is unclear whether it will be able to clear these debts during the liquidation process.

With consumer power having been severely impacted by stagnant wages and increasing household debt, many aspects of the UK leisure industry have been impacted in recent times. Even the music festival scene, which attracts roughly 14 million visitors to the UK every year, has taken a hit.

Last year, one of the 10 largest music festivals in the UK folded, following an expensive relocation to the Lulworth Estate in Dorset. The group behind Bestival collapsed into administration in September 2018, just months after the latest instalment of the event – which was headlined by the performers Chaka Khan, Grace Jones and Thundercat. Now, another festival group, which shares Bestival’s founder, has followed suit.Common People Festival falls into administration

Organised by DJ Rob da Bank, Common People Festival’s line-up in 2018 featured The Jacksons, James, Ride, Boney M, and Lily Allen. However, the company owes £543,546, according to a statement posted with Companies House, and has been unable to continue in its current form. As a result, consulting firm Begbies Traynor has been appointed to liquidate the company.

Talking to local paper the Daily Echo, Julie Palmer of Begbies Traynor stated it is unclear as to whether the companies will be able to clear the debts. She explained that "they have got some potential" to pay off the debts before adding "if there is a recovery it won't be a particularly large recovery."

There will be no edition of the event this year, meanwhile, which will likely impact the economies of Southampton and Oxford. A spokesman from Begbies Traynor, said, “Common People (Oxford) and Common People Festival went into liquidation and the business and its assets were not bought by any other company. As a result there will be no Common People festival in 2019.”