The Natural History Museum (NHM) has recently benefitted from an additional £20 million of Government funding to create a state-of-the-art collections and research centre in Shinfield.

This additional funding comes after the £182m announced at Spring Budget 2020.

The NHM Unlocked programme will see 28 million specimens move to the new facility in the Thames Valley Science Park, Shinfield.

These specimens cover every ocean and land mass of the planet, ranging from a microscopic ‘water bear’ that can survive in outer space, to the remains of whales.

It comes after the Government pledge to increase investment in UK science, research and development. It also facilitates the Museum’s largest collections move for over 140 years.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, Professor Robert Van de Noort, said: "This announcement brings the University and the Natural History Museum a step closer to delivering this important collections and research centre. It will open up innovative research opportunities for academics here in Reading and around the world.

"It is great news for the University community and the people of Reading and Wokingham, and we look forward to sharing more detailed plans with the local community soon."

The University of Reading’s scientific research areas include its world-leading expertise on climate science. The link between the Natural History Museum and the University of Reading will provide key research opportunities, including funding for PhD students.

The new facility will open up the collections to researchers around the world for scientific innovation.

Director of the Natural History Museum, Doug Gurr, said: "I thank the Government for providing this substantial investment which allows the Natural History Museum to safely store its irreplaceable collections for generations to come. The Museum is looking forward to being a part of the vibrant local community in Wokingham. We are extremely excited to partner with the University of Reading with all the research potential – from maintaining food security and improving biodiversity to addressing climate change – that this partnership will foster."

The low carbon impact, sustainable building is currently expected to be completed in 2027 and operational by 2031.