Tuesday 14th May 2024: Sisk has been selected to build a brand new £25M building as part of the Diamond-II upgrade for Diamond Light Source (Diamond), the UK’s national synchrotron. Sisk began working on site in January.

Located on the Harwell Science campus in Oxfordshire, Diamond is a ground-breaking science facility that will be upgraded and expanded thanks to a £519m investment from the UK Government and the Wellcome Trust – each respectively contributing 86% and 14%.

Diamond harnesses the power of electrons to produce bright light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines to viruses and vaccines.

The machine accelerates electrons to near light speeds so that they give off light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. These bright beams are then directed off into laboratories known as ‘beamlines’. Here, scientists use the light to study a vast range of subject matter, from new medicines and treatments for disease to innovative engineering and cutting-edge technology.

The transformative Diamond-II upgrade will deliver a new technically advanced machine and additional beamlines with a comprehensive series of upgrades to optics, detectors, labs and more. It is expected to offer real-time insights for advanced manufacturing, help improve next-generation batteries and accelerate drug development.

Sisk will complete the Diamond Extension Building (DEB) which will be located to the southeast of the existing Diamond Synchrotron building at the Harwell Science campus. The building consists of two adjoined parts. DEB1 will include assembling facilities for 52 new Girders on the ground floor and offices and labs on the first floor. DEB2 will be used to store both the incoming ‘bare’ Girders, and the fully assembled Girders, and will provide valuable space for Diamond’s future development after the completion of Diamond-II.

This is the second project at the Harwell Science campus, Oxfordshire that Sisk has won having recently been announced as fit-out contractor for Moderna, a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines.

Donal McCarthy, COO, Data, Life Sciences & Tech, Sisk said: “We are delighted to confirm our second Sisk project at Harwell Science campus. Diamond Light Source is a true science and technology project and a rare fabrication facility assembly. We believe that we have the skillset and experience to deliver this highly technical facility. Sisk looks forward to working with Diamond and our local supply chain partners to delivering an innovative world class science and research facility.”

Dr Richard Walker, Interim Project Director for Diamond-II, Diamond Light Source said: “I am very pleased that after receiving the approval from the UK Government, together with Wellcome, we are now starting construction of one of the key elements in our delivery of Diamond-II. Given that many other similar facilities around the world are carrying out similar upgrades, without the Diamond-II upgrade we would eventually become uncompetitive and enter a rapid decline, to the detriment of UK science and innovation so this investment in buildings is the major first step to set us on track to successfully deliver the upgrade to the facility ”