A MULTI-MILLION pound research centre at Oxford University’s Old Road Campus has been approved by planning officials.

The £45m Big Data Institute – thought to be the first of its kind in the world – will allow researchers analyse large amounts of data to help improve scientists’ understanding of diseases.

The city council’s east area planning committee approved the move on Wednesday after officers recommended it go ahead.

Chairman Roy Darke said: “This is an important addition for research facilities for the university, and I have no doubt this is of enormous value for the city.”

Carfax councillor Ruthi Brandt added: “It’s an exciting building and I think the way it fits in with the other buildings already there looks fantastic.”

The building, which would house 600 staff, would be chevron-shaped and have grass and plants covering the roof. It will also feature a sunken garden area with a bridge.

The institute is being funded with a £20m gift from health and education group the Li Ka Shing Foundation and £10m from the Government.

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