Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: UKRI World Class Laboratories Fund

The UKRI World Class Laboratories Fund helps research institutes and universities to maintain and improve facilities and ensure UK researchers have use of world class laboratories, equipment, and digital resources.

£88 million for the financial year 2020-21
Partners involved:
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Research England, devolved funding bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The scope and what we're doing

UKRI allocated £88 million in the financial year 2020 to 21 to enable research institutes and universities to maintain and improve current research facilities, ensuring UK researchers have access to world-leading laboratory facilities, equipment and digital resources.

This funding is part of the £300 million investment in world class research infrastructure announced by the government in July 2020.

The funding aims to:

  • support pioneering science and innovation in the UK
  • deliver benefits to the UK economy and society
  • help tackle global challenges including coronavirus and climate change.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

The funding has been awarded under three packages:

Package 1

A total of £61 million has been allocated by Research England and the devolved funding bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to enable providers to make existing research infrastructure COVID-safe through modifications, as well as necessary maintenance.

The funding distribution is based on an average of three years’ research council funding (higher education research capital data) for each provider.

Package 2

£12 million has been allocated to support the maintenance, refurbishment and improvement of eligible existing infrastructure from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). Being able to offer ongoing support to UKRI’s flagship infrastructure investments enables UKRI to continue to support excellent UK research.

The funding has been distributed in proportion to a provider’s UKRPIF project award.

Package 3

£12.5 million has been allocated in England to address differences in regional research capacity through infrastructure investment. An equivalent funding allocation has been made available by the devolved funding bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A regional weighting has been applied to formula research capital infrastructure funding allocations:

  • North East 2.47
  • East Midlands 2.44
  • West Midlands 2.11
  • South West 1.99
  • Yorkshire and the Humber 1.89
  • North West 1.75
  • South East 1.43
  • London 1.20
  • East of England 1.00.

Allocations from the UKRI WCL fund 2020-21 (England only)

Who to contact

Ask a question about World Class Laboratories Fund


Last updated: 27 July 2023

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