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Investment by Sutton Council sets stage for London Cancer Hub

A new £14.1 million investment sets the stage for a site in Sutton, south London, to become the world’s leading hub for cancer research and treatment.

Sutton Council has purchased a further 2.23 hectares of NHS land on the site of one of the UK’s most significant regeneration projects, The London Cancer Hub.

The London Cancer Hub is set to create 13,000 jobs while contributing £1.2bn to the UK economy each year. It promises to be a world-leading life-science campus of scientists, doctors, innovative companies and patients, anchored by new research buildings, hospital facilities, restaurants and hotels.

The new £14.1m deal doubles the land previously purchased on the site for cancer research, treatment and commercial enterprise – following a previous £14m investment in 2017 of 2.22 hectares.

The newly acquired land will host a series of state-of-the-art academic and commercial buildings – including The London Cancer Hub’s pioneering ‘Knowledge Centre’. The Knowledge Centre will be the heart of research, knowledge sharing, teaching and communication for The London Cancer Hub – hosting laboratories, academic and commercial meeting facilities, public exhibition space and a rooftop viewing gallery.

The centrepiece building will encourage close co-operation between scientists, clinicians, commercial staff and the public – stimulating new ideas that will help drive advances in cancer research and translation for patient benefit.

It will form the centrepiece of The London Cancer Hub, which aims to be a global centre for cancer innovation, bringing together scientists, doctors, commercial enterprises.

A further 1.6 hectares of land on the site was purchased in 2015 for a new secondary school. Building work is now underway on the £40m Harris Academy Sutton, a science-specialist school which is set to create the next generation of young scientists. The school will be completed by September 2019 and open in a temporary building from September 2018.

The £1 billion London Cancer Hub project will shortly be seeking commercial partners to begin developing buildings on the new land.

The London Cancer Hub demonstrates the UK’s and London’s ambitions to remain a world leader in life sciences after the country leaves the European Union.

The project will accelerate progress in making the discoveries that will defeat cancer – enabling the ICR to discover more cancer drugs, and increasing the chances that they will be successfully developed for patients.

It will be developed on the Sutton site of The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and is ultimately intended to cover 280,000 square metres – doubling the space available for research and treatment.

Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said: “The London Cancer Hub is one of the most exciting projects to be happening nationally, so I am very proud that it is happening here in our borough. Our ambition is that this will become one of the most important sites for cancer research, treatment and diagnosis in the world.”

Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “It’s exciting to reach such an important milestone in creating The London Cancer Hub. Purchasing this new tranche of land now unlocks the site for development, allowing ourselves and the London Borough of Sutton to seek commercial partners with expertise in constructing state-of-the-art life-science buildings.

“The London Cancer Hub will be a magnet for the world’s top cancer researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and other innovative enterprises. We are hugely grateful to our partners at the London Borough of Sutton for making the capital investment to take this project forward. Working with them and our hospital partner, The Royal Marsden, we are going to bring about transformative change in cancer research and treatment.”

Rajesh Agrawal, London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, said: “London is already a hotbed of scientific research and innovation and schemes like this can only enhance the capital’s reputation as a world-renowned centre for groundbreaking medical advances.”

Find out more about The London Cancer Hub at londoncancerhub.org