Plans to develop a ‘world-leading’ cancer research hub in south London have taken a major step forward, with the completion of the final stage in a £30 million investment in land.
The London Borough of Sutton has purchased a further 0.38 hectares of NHS land on the site of The London Cancer Hub – a partnership with The Institute of Cancer Research, London, described as ‘one of the UK’s most significant regeneration projects’.
Finalising the land deal has opened the way for the Borough – which has invested £2.199 million in the final portion of land on the site, taking the total to £30.299 million – to seek a development partner for a £350 m life science campus.
The London Cancer Hub says development on the Sutton site will now accelerate. The Hub ‘aims to be a global centre for cancer innovation’, bringing together scientists, doctors, life science companies, patients, and the local community. It is led by the London Borough of Sutton and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), and supported by the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Mayor of London. The land purchased reportedly offers the potential
to accommodate up to 100,000 m2 of new space on the life science campus. The aim is for private enterprises to share the site with the ICR and The Royal Marsden – ‘intensifying collaboration with these internationally renowned organisations’.
A tender process opened last month to secure a development partner to take the lead on masterplanning, raising of development finance, procurement of third-party contractors, and marketing to occupiers. The Hub aims to create ‘a vibrant community of scientists, doctors, and innovative companies, supported by research facilities, and community amenities, including a secondary school. The initiative is expected to create 13,000 jobs, and to ultimately contribute £1.2 billion to the UK economy annually.
The London Cancer Hub said: said: “The project will accelerate progress in making the discoveries that will defeat cancer – enabling the ICR and companies on the campus to discover more cancer drugs and, alongside its hospital partner, The Royal Marsden, to increase the chances that they will be successfully developed for patients.
Professor Paul Workman, CEO of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “There has been an explosion in our knowledge of cancer over the last decade, and we’re seeing the fruits of that understanding in a succession of exciting new treatments for the disease. But there is still much more to do to translate research advances into innovative cancer treatments – and part of the answer is to stimulate intensive collaboration between academia and industry. I’m incredibly excited by the potential of The London Cancer Hub to spark creativity, innovation, and collaboration, and to take many more exciting new cancer treatments through to patients.”