SOUTHAMPTON’S state-of-the- art £140m marine research centre will open its doors within seven months.

Construction work at the hub, a collaboration between marine giant Lloyd’s Register and the University of Southampton, will be completed in February.

And with internal works set to be completed over the summer, the new-look campus is likely to open in July.

The new complex at the university’s Boldrewood Campus is the UK’s biggest business-university collaboration, and will house 400 members of staff.

It is hoped a new global technology centre will lead to ground-breaking research and innovations in the marine, engineering, architecture and science fields.

The university recently won another £10m in funding from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, which will go towards funding a large-scale towing tank and fluid mechanics building that will be completed by the end of the year and brought into full operation next year.

Lloyd’s Register’s marine communications manager Nick Brown said: “There is a sense of growing excitement here at Lloyd’s Register about working at the new building and being close to the university.

“We will have 400 Lloyd’s Register employees working in the centre and there seems to be growing interest in both what we and the university are doing in co-locating, as well as the sense of an increasingly important marine industry cluster in the Solent area.

“Significantly, there are employment opportunities for both technical and non-technical professions and we would encourage anyone interested to look at our group technology centre website where they can see the centre (and worldwide) opportunities as well as lots of interesting information.

“We have already employed locally and have some interesting positions open.”

A spokesman for Southampton University said: “We are very pleased with the progress on site and the high quality of the construction work.

“We very much look forward to establishing a world-leading academic and technological centre of excellence in the coming years.”