Planned multi-million Lighthouse facilities cut by up to 50%, with smaller labs decommissioned
New Lighthouse labs, created by the government to boost the nation’s Covid testing capacity, are to be dramatically scaled back before they open. It is understood that new multi-million pound labs in Gateshead and Plymouth, announced last year but yet to open, are among those to see a big cut in daily testing by as much as 50% compared with original plans.
Some smaller labs will be decommissioned and others will not have their contracts renewed this spring as part of the overhaul, with officials citing new technology and the changing pressures of the pandemic as factors behind a rethink. The changes are likely to reignite the debate over the use of public money by the £22bn NHS test and trace programme.