about Brixham Laboratory

World-class laboratory facilities, stunning serviced offices, a fabulous café and meeting & conference facilities. That’s what you’ll see when you come to the Brixham Laboratory.


It really is a great place to do business. Just ask any of the organisations who have chosen to base their businesses here. Have a look at our office & lab space or meeting rooms to see how we might be able to help you to do business here.


We have a small but very friendly team here to ensure that everything runs well and that all of our clients and visitors are well looked after.


Now owned by the University of Plymouth, the Laboratory has been a big part of Brixham life for the past 65 years. We’ve put together some information on the history of the site below.

The History of Brixham Laboratory

Brixham Laboratory Heritage

The Beginning

The origins of the Laboratory go back to the years immediately following the Second World War when the Paints Division of ICI Ltd acquired an interest in the manufacture and sale of antifouling paints. ICI required testing facilities to understand the biology of the fouling organisms and provide testing facilities where the new products could be evaluated under controlled conditions. ICI purchased Cumber House at Vicarage Hill, Brixham

Brixham Laboratory Heritage


It soon became apparent that facilities closer to the shoreline were required. The Site on which the Laboratory is built today was originally a quarry to supply limestone for the outer breakwater.

Brixham Laboratory Heritage


The first permanent building at Freshwater Quarry was opened in 1953 and most of that building is still standing, forming the office area to the right of our main entrance.

Brixham Laboratory Heritage


In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, further expansion of the Site occurred to allow space for ecotoxicology, analytical chemistry and environmental fate studies. In 1993 Zeneca was formed as a result of the de-merger of ICI, and in 1999 AstraZeneca was formed when a Swedish company Astra AB merged with Zeneca.

Brixham Laboratory Heritage


In 2007/8 the most recent 4 storey glass fronted building was added to the end of the Site. It was a £15m project and represented AstraZenecas largest capital investment in that period. It was officially opened by Princess Anne in May 2008.

21st Century

In 2014 AstraZeneca donated the Laboratory to the University of Plymouth. The Laboratory is now home to over 30 organisations. It has an anchor tenant, Scymaris, and a wide variety of other organisations across industry sectors such as Marine, Photonics and Business Services. Many tenants collaborate with the University of Plymouth through grant funded research, knowledge transfer partnerships and by giving employment opportunities to students and graduates.

Find out more about our office space and facilities

how to find us

by car

We are approximately 2 minute drive away from Brixham town centre.

by train

We are approximately 45 min taxi ride from Newton Abbot Train Station.

by air

We are approximately one hours drive away from Exeter Airport.