UK to create world leading cancer centre

Insurer Aviva and developer Socius have announced they have won the bid to create the world’s leading centre for cancer research.

The pair are to partner in the creation of the district for cancer research and treatment at the London Cancer Hub in Sutton.

The two will partner with landowner London Borough of Sutton, and work closely with the Institute of Cancer Research, London, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Epsom and ST Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, on the multi-phase development, which consists of a one million square foot life sciences campus on a five hectare site.

Barry Jessup, Managing Director of Socius, said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a sustainable campus for excellence in cancer research. Our vision is to build on the groundbreaking facilities already provided by Institute for Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital with a new ecosystem of labs, R&D and commercial facilities in a campus setting that will attract researchers and scientists from around the world and accelerate the development of groundbreaking cancer treatments. We look forward to working with Aviva, London Borough of Sutton and key local stakeholders to develop our plans for the site.”

Further investment and development will create a state of the art life science campus dedicated to research and treatment of cancer. The London Cancer Hub (LCH) will deliver major social and economic benefits including 13,000 highly skilled jobs in health, science, education and construction, c.£1.2 billion GVA to the UK economy, and £12 million increase in business rates.

Charlotte Jones, Aviva’s Chief Financial Officer added: “Aviva is investing significantly in critical areas of the UK economy such as housing, green energy and healthcare. We are using our capital to generate long term income for our customers and help the UK to grow. The London Cancer Hub will provide world-class cancer research and bolster the UK’s ambition to be a leader in the Life Sciences sector.”

Local government and medical leaders have backed the scheme.

Professor Paul Workman, Harrap professor of Cancer Pharmacology and Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, explained: “We’re confident that new commercial space here at The London Cancer Hub will deliver great benefits – by encouraging innovative collaborations between academics, clinicians, and industry, by facilitating the kinds of breakthroughs that can only come from working across scientific and organisational boundaries, and by providing the new treatments for people with cancer that are so urgently needed.”

Leader of Sutton Council, councillor Ruth Dombey said the benefits of the new scheme were significant. “I’m delighted we have reached this stage in the process and I look forward to completing the deal and seeing the next phase of our ambitions for the London Cancer Hub delivered. The Centre will bring many benefits to Sutton, London and the rest of the UK through the creation of high quality jobs, education opportunities and space for growing businesses. It will also make Sutton home to an internationally recognised centre for the treatment and cure of cancer, discovering new drugs and most importantly, saving lives.”

“We are privileged to have an exciting blend of scientific and clinical expertise at Sutton that consistently translates innovative ideas in drug discovery from the laboratory to the clinical setting for the benefit of cancer patients worldwide,” added Dame Cally Palmer, CEO of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.