The Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA) is a research centre dedicated to providing high energy particle beams and high peak brightness radiation pulses for users across all scientific and engineering disciplines. A pair of Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser systems (40 TW peak power at 10 Hz pulse repetition rate and 350 TW at 5 Hz, respectively) are the drivers for a suite of laser-plasma accelerator beamlines housed across a series of radiation shielded areas. The petawatt-scale laser delivers 45 W of average power that establishes it as the world leader in its class. The University of Strathclyde has had an operational laser wakefield accelerator since 2007 as the centrepiece of the ongoing Advanced Laser Plasma High-energy Accelerators towards X-rays (ALPHA-X) project. SCAPA, which is a multipartner venture under the auspices of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, continues the dedicated beamline approach pioneered by ALPHA-X and represents a significant expansion in the UK’s experimental capability at the university level in laser-driven acceleration. The new centre supports seven radiation beamlines across three concrete shielded bunkers that each nominally specialise in a different aspect of fundamental laser-plasma interaction physics and radiation sources: GeVscale electron beams, MeV/c proton and ion beams, X-rays, gamma rays and so on. Development of application programmes based on these sources cover a wide range of fields including nuclear physics, radiotherapy, space radiation reproduction, warm dense matter, high field physics and radioisotope generation.