Heseltine axe poised over environmental laboratory

Britain's premier environmental research facility, Warren Spring Laboratory (WSL), is under serious threat of closure. Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, is believed to be on the brink of deciding to break up WSL instead of spending revenue from the sale of its current site on building a new laboratory.

The threat to WSL stems from the Department of Trade and Industry's decision last year to sell its present site near Stevenage to the pharmaceutical company Glaxo and move it to Welwyn Garden City. Glaxo wanted the site so that it could expand its own neighbouring facilities onto WSL's land. The company is believed to have paid the DTI an over-the-odds £25 million to cover part of WSL's relocation costs.

The Welwyn site has now been

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