THE UK's first dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be built in Oxford, the government has announced.

The facility is to be based at Oxford Science Park and will help to tackle global diseases such as Ebola and Lassa fever.

Led by the Jenner Institute, a partnership between Oxford University and the Pirbright Institute, the new £66million centre will be funded through the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

Jenner Institute director, professor Adrian Hill, said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for the UK to lead in the provision of vaccines against a wide range of outbreak pathogens which threaten to cause major epidemics.

"The lack of commercial incentive to develop these has now led to this exceptional partnership of major academic and industrial players in the vaccine field, to accelerate a range of vaccines towards large-scale manufacture and stockpile provision for vulnerable populations.

“In parallel, the Centre will develop innovative manufacturing technologies with UK companies and universities to support the next generation of life-saving preventive and therapeutic vaccines.”

It is expected the new centre will create up to 50 jobs in the local area when it opens in 2022.

The first products from the centre are expected to be available for use later that year.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “More than 200 years ago the UK pioneered the first vaccine and with it, smallpox was eradicated.

"Now as the world is threatened by killers such as Ebola and Lassa fever we will build on our significant heritage and history to fight against them with our unmatched reputation for medical research and innovation.

“The Government is investing in pioneering vaccine manufacturing as part of our modern Industrial Strategy to create more highly skilled jobs, place the NHS at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies and deliver the biggest increase in public investment in research and development in UK history.”