DLA Working With STFC

David Lock Associates is delighted to be working with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (part of UK Research and Innovation) on a series of exciting development plans, which are helping to facilitate world-leading research.


Forming the scientific heart of the growing Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is a world-leading research site with numerous national UK scientific facilities hosted. STFC commissioned David Lock Associates and Fathom Architects to prepare a comprehensive Development Plan for its RAL site to guide future estates development and infrastructure comprehensively and help transform quality of place and prepare for a more sustainable future.

The now completed Development Plan successfully blends the technical requirements of a complex operational site with placemaking, architecture and urban design guidance to create a better place for the thousands of researchers that work there every day. It sets out a strong base for the expansion and intensification of RAL to enable cutting-edge science to continue there for the long-term.

The Development Plan is now being used by STFC, underpinning design work and business cases for funding to deliver infrastructure and improvement works and enabling the UK to remain in the lead of global scientific research.


Following a competitive tendering process, David Lock Associates and Fathom Architects have been commissioned by STFC for a second time to prepare a Development Plan for its Daresbury Laboratory, one of the UK’s two national laboratory facilities. DLA and Fathom have together recently prepared a Development Plan for the other, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in Harwell, Oxfordshire.

Daresbury Laboratory is the scientific heart of the growing Sci-Tech Daresbury research park, a joint venture between STFC, Halton Borough Council and private developers Langtree. The Development Plan will seek to support the laboratory’s ambitions to continue to host world-leading scientific research facilities, as well as to help incubate innovative new businesses based around the science undertaken on the site. Together, we will look at scenarios for growth and change at the laboratory in new and existing buildings, as well as explore placemaking opportunities and sustainability improvements, to support UKRI on its journey to Net Zero by 2040.

We are proud to have been commissioned once again by STFC, meaning that together DLA and Fathom will have prepared Development Plans for both of the UK’s national laboratory facilities, giving us unique experience in this vital source of the UK’s innovation economy.