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The Lyell Centre | Edinburgh site details

The BGS offices in Murchison House and Loanhead relocated to The Lyell Centre, a purpose built site on the Heriot-Watt University campus at Riccarton, in February 2016.

Contact details

The Lyell Centre
Research Avenue South
EH14 4AP

Tel: (+44) 0131 667 1000

Get directions to this site

The Lyell Centre

The George Bruce Building

The Lyell Centre Strategic Board at the Ground Breaking Ceremony

The NERC/BGS Project Team at the Ground Breaking Ceremony. L-R : David Kearney, John Murray, John Ludden, Mike Patterson, Bob Gatliff


The new home of BGS Scotland is a major joint BGS/Heriot-Watt University research centre for geological, petroleum and marine sciences and houses the UK NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas.

The Lyell Centre, which began construction on the 21st January 2015, establishes in Scotland a global centre of excellence based on research synergies and collaboration.

BGS research clusters include:

The Centre will bring together key expertise from both institutions as well as an £8.5m investment in top-level academic recruitment from around the world, providing a huge opportunity for earth and marine science in general and for Scotland in particular.

The emphasis of the Lyell Centre’s work will be at the intersection of the earth and marine sciences. Research in the Centre will play a key role in finding pragmatic solutions and providing evidence-based informed and reliable opinions in areas of energy supply, environmental impact and global climate change, where inputs have traditionally been polarised. Its work will be both socially and industrially relevant at national and international scales.

The Lyell Centre in brief

The Lyell Centre is funded by BGS, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Heriot-Watt University and Scottish Funding Council (SFC).  Additional funding of £8.5m will also underpin investment in top-level academic staff recruitment and student research positions.

The Centre will house the British Geological Survey (Scotland) and staff from the University’s Schools of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society and Life Sciences. As well as providing new office and laboratory facilities the Lyell Centre will incorporate a new 50 000 litre climate change research aquarium, the UK NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas, a high level industry engagement and training initiative for the oil and gas sector, and the Shell Centre for Exploration Geoscience.

Journey planning

Where to stay

View a list of local accommodation.

Sales desk

In light of UK Government guidance concerning the Coronavirus (Covid-19) the BGS Geology Shops are temporarily closed. This includes our BGS shops at Keyworth, Edinburgh and London.

Please visit our Geology Shop in The Lyell Centre reception.