The United Kingdom's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) said this week that it is going to close one of its long-established institutes after talks over a rescue package with an unnamed third party broke down.

Up to 150 staff will face redundancy as a result of the closure of the Silsoe Research Institute (SRI), based at a former stately home in a rural part of Bedfordshire, England.

The institute, which dates back to 1924, has earned a reputation for its specialist knowledge on the use of biological systems and processes in industries such as horticulture, food production, and healthcare.

But months of talks with an unnamed commercial enterprise, aimed at turning the site into a viable research and technology center, came to a fruitless conclusion yesterday when the BBSRC announced negotiations had been terminated.

In a press statement, the council said: "Despite the best efforts of all concerned,...

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