Marine Biological Association Secures Planning

January 2021

Construction of a new world-class research centre focusing on the marine microscopic world has started.

The Marine Microbiome Centre of Excellence will pave the way for new discoveries about ocean health. Located within the historic environs of the Royal Citadel in Plymouth, a scheduled monument that is still occupied by the British Army and Royal Marines, the existing home of the Marine Biological Association is a fine historic building in its own right. Built from solid Plymouth limestone in a neoclassical style that references the Stazione Zoologia in Naples, the building was constructed specifically for the MBA in 1888, their original and current home. However, accumulative development over the years has led to a dense and disjointed campus spread over many levels. The association’s academic and scientific research covers a range of disciplines, including marine cell biology, ecology, animal behaviour and ecosystem change. It is also the home of the Continuous Plankton Recorder, one of the longest running marine biological monitoring programmes in the world. An ambitious plan to expand and refine their research accommodation on the site offered a great architectural brief in a wonderful historic coastal location.

The first phase of the project, the North Labs extension has started construction this month.

Our iconic Citadel Hill HQ will be undergoing exciting changes as the £4-million phase 1 to our £20 million infrastructure masterplan comes to fruition. Despite there being a little organised chaos ahead, the new world-class research laboratories will be the light at the end of the tunnel. We are looking forward to witnessing the development and sharing that journey.
Professor Willie Wilson, Director of the Marine Biological Association