March 2022 marks two years since the UK government called upon Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) to create the UK Lighthouse Lab Network in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, UK Biocentre and the University of Glasgow, closely supported by both NHS and Public Health England. MDC also established one of the founding Lighthouse Labs, the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab (APLL) in Cheshire.
A project on an unprecedented scale, the labs provided mass Covid-19 PCR testing for the nation, serving as a beacon of light through the darkness of the pandemic.
Growing from a standing start to become the largest diagnostic network in British history, the UK Lighthouse Lab Network played a critical role in the country’s understanding of, and response to, the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nearly two years since the UK Lighthouse Lab Network’s first test was processed, the end of March 2022 also coincides with the government’s plan to scale back on Covid-19 restrictions and testing.
As the APLL is demobilised from 31 March, the scale of the impact the UK Lighthouse Lab Network had during the pandemic, leaves a legacy that will be recognised for years to come.