Sutton Council is drawing up plans to directly deliver a new innovation hub in an existing building owned by the Council at The London Cancer Hub.
The COVID-19 crisis has emphasised the critical role of scientific research to the national economy and the provision of affordable space will be increasingly important in enabling the UK’s science sector to flourish and grow.
Following a procurement process, the Council has therefore decided not to appoint a commercial partner to develop The London Cancer Hub site at this time.
Instead, the Council is drawing up plans to directly deliver a new innovation hub in an existing building owned by the Council. The award of an £8.38m grant from the City of London’s economic growth Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) provides a timely opportunity for the Council to respond quickly to the scientific community with a bespoke offer on this key site in the borough.
The proposed hub will have the benefit of being immediately adjacent to The Institute of Cancer Research, London – a world-famous academic institute and Sutton Council’s partner in the development of The London Cancer Hub.
This optimum location will enable start-up and spin-out companies at the innovation hub, along with teams from larger enterprises, to work closely with, and learn from, world-class academic scientists.
To maximise the benefits of the investment, the Council and The Institute of Cancer Research will build new, and strengthen existing, local business supply chains.
Alongside re-purposing its building, the Council is looking to deliver new footpaths, lighting, signage and to demolish some redundant buildings to improve visibility and movement around the wider site.
The London Cancer Hub is a partnership between The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the London Borough of Sutton – working in close collaboration with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the Greater London Authority and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:
“The UK economy faces an unprecedented challenge and an uncertain economic climate as the country begins to recover from the global outbreak of COVID-19 in the short to medium term. Yet the pandemic has highlighted the hugely important work carried out by research scientists. Whilst the challenges for local authorities across the country are stark, emerging intelligence suggests that scientific research and the life sciences are likely to be one of the more resilient sectors of the economy over the next few years.
“As a result of these changes, Sutton Council needs to manage its resources as prudently as possible. At the same time, it is vital that the borough and its communities continue to thrive with new employment opportunities. The direct delivery of this flagship development will help ensure the Council's regeneration ambitions are focused on delivering local benefit.”
Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:
“We’re delighted that this new development will come forward at The London Cancer Hub. It will offer exciting new opportunities for life-science companies to work on site, directly alongside our scientists, to create new cancer treatments.
“New incubator space with a range of research facilities and collaborative spaces will give fledgling and more established life-science companies the chance to develop their ideas in partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer research organisations.”
Plans for the next phase of work at the London Cancer Hub will be considered by the next meeting of the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee.