You may have heard in the news about the fire that tore through the University of Nottingham’s GlaxoSmithKline-funded new Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry, which was still under construction. Luckily, no-one was hurt, but the building was completely destroyed.
University of Nottingham registrar Dr Paul Greatrix had the following statement…
“We are incredibly grateful to our staff and students for their fantastic response in dealing with this major incident and would like to express our gratitude to both Notts Fire Service and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service. It was the quick action of their fire crews which prevented this incident from being much more serious. We have also been extremely touched by the messages and best wishes from our close neighbours out in the community.
“We would like to thank the wider higher education community across the UK for its support – we have had many offers of help from other universities around the country, for which we are extremely grateful.
“To put this loss into perspective, we need to remember that this was one building, that thankfully no one was injured and that the fire was prevented from spreading further on to campus.
“We want to stress that it is business as usual at The University of Nottingham. We were able to ensure that Open Day 2014, went ahead as planned and was unaffected by the incident — we welcomed thousands of prospective students and their families to our campuses to enjoy a packed programme of talks and activities demonstrating our high-quality teaching and facilities.
“The new building wasn’t due to be opened until next year and, as such, our chemistry department, while understandably disappointed by this loss, won’t be affected either from a teaching or research perspective in the immediate future.
“This is a setback for us but one from which we have no doubt we will recover. The University of Nottingham has an international reputation for scientific excellence, underpinned by the world-leading expertise of our academics. It is upon those strong foundations that we will rebuild and renew for the future.
“The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry is a landmark building which is the embodiment of the University’s commitment to sustainability in all its forms, particularly in the area of green chemistry and we will be working closely with our partners at GSK, and the contractors Morgan Sindall, to develop a positive plan of action for rebuilding.
“At this stage, we have no idea what caused the fire and may not know for some time until the Fire Service has been able to fully investigate the incident. The building was designed to meet stringent fire regulation requirements.”