Leamington and Warwick MP Matt Western has expressed his anger after learning that the lease for the Covid mega lab site in Leamington has been put up for sale after the operation cost tax payers £455 million.
The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory, named after the famous British chemist, opened at the former Wolseley buildings in June 2021 and at one time was the largest of its kind in the UK.
According to The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) – which runs the site - it processed 8.5 million tests during the Coid-19 pandemic.
But it closed in January of this year, costing 600 jobs.
And now, having learned of the lease on the site being put up for sale by the UKHSA, Mr Western has launched a scathing attack on the Government.
He said: “Last week, the mega lab in Leamington appeared on Rightmove, and it’s been revealed that since its inception, it has cost £455 million – although many of us believe it is a lot more than that.
"Whatever, it’s a huge sum of taxpayers' money.
From the beginning, we were led to believe that the lab would be a long-term project that would bring 2,000 jobs to our town and that, post-Covid, would be used as a general medical diagnostic testing centre.
"Yet it seems the Government is now abandoning its plan of only eighteen months ago.
“From the start I have challenged this programme and have been asking questions throughout, but the Government never wanted to answer me.
"There are some serious questions that need to be answered and I will keep pushing for the answers we deserve.”
A statement from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which runs the lab, has thanked all those who worked at the site during the pandemic.
Marc Merel, director of testing, added: "[The lab] has played a vital role in helping the nation recover from the pandemic.
“Options are being explored for the best use of the site going forwards while ensuring the best value for taxpayers’ money and an update will be provided in due course."