THE first stage of a £20million project to build a new virus research centre in Glasgow is under way.

Building work has begun on the new Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Virus Research (CVR) at Glasgow University.

The CVR, at the university's Garscube Campus, will bring scientists researching viruses and viral diseases in humans and animals together under one roof.

It was set up in 2010 and is headed by Professor Massimo Palmarini.

It will receive £28m over the next five years from the MRC, with an additional £10m from the university. The Wellcome-Wolfson Capital Awards Initiative is giving £4.8m to the centre.

Professor Palmarini said: "We are excited that work has started on the construction of a dedicated building for the centre.

"The building will provide us with the kind of facilities we need to produce top-quality research in the field of human and animal diseases and tackle questions about viruses at all levels – from the structure of viruses themselves to their spread through animal and human populations.

"We are grateful to the MRC and Wellcome-Wolfson Capital Initiative for their support."

The building, designed by Sheppard Robson Architects, is expected to be finished by June 2014.

Professor Neal Juster, vice-principal for strategy and resources at Glasgow University, said: "The CVR will be a wonderful new addition to our facilities at Garscube."