Blog POSTED ON: 09 August 2018

Behind the scenes there’s a lot of activity going on towards realising our vision for The London Cancer Hub. Here Mandy Cherrington, Head of Economic Renewal and Regeneration at the London Borough of Sutton, discusses the latest developments.

During this current heatwave it is perhaps difficult to think all the way back to 1 March, the day London saw its highest recorded snowfall for 30 years. Yet it was amidst this chilly setting that Sutton Council and its partners set the scene for what has been described as one of the most innovative regeneration projects in London, if not the UK.

Our ‘Code for Growth’ science-themed investor conference welcomed an audience of more than 75 attendees, with keynote addresses from Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, Professor Tony Travers of the London School of Economics, and Fiona Fletcher Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment at the Greater London Assembly.

At this event, we launched our search for an investor or development partner. We are looking to create a partnership with a shared vision for the future of more than 12 acres of land that can deliver up to 1 million square feet of commercial research and development and life science space.

We hope to launch our procurement for a commercial partner in the autumn so will be in touch again shortly afterwards to let you know the latest news.

We are currently planning our procurement process to secure a commercial development partner and once this opens we will be in touch again to let you know the latest.

The conference signalled what has become an exciting juncture for The London Cancer Hub. Since the London Borough of Sutton adopted a formal development framework back in September 2016, progress on the project has gained increasing momentum. Below, we are excited to share an update of the projects that have already started on site.

The Royal Marsden Maggie’s Centre – opening April 2019

The opening of Maggie’s at The Royal Marsden will allow the charity to extend its support services to reach more patients in London, which sees more than 28,000 cancer diagnoses a year.

There are currently two Maggie’s Centres in London, one built within the grounds of Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith – Maggie’s West London – and another Maggie’s at Barts Hospital in northeast London, which opened in November 2017.

Working in partnership with The Royal Marsden, the new Maggie’s Centre will further enhance the patient care on offer at The Royal Marsden, marking another step forward in the redevelopment of the Sutton site.

The Institute of Cancer Research, Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery – scheduled to open during 2020

The new centre will bring together the ICR’s award-winning drug discovery scientists at its Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit with its pioneering Centre for Evolution and Cancer – the first on this scale in the world.

This closer interaction will enable the ICR to build on their unrivalled track record in creating innovative cancer medicines and accelerate the discovery of innovative treatments that tackle cancer’s ability to adapt and evolve, and so meet the major clinical challenge of drug resistance.

The new centre will be built on the site of The London Cancer Hub and will enable the ICR to increase its capacity, introduce new scientific approaches, attract more world-class scientists and train more bright young talent for the future.

It will offer more than 7,000 square metres of multidisciplinary research space, becoming home to more than 275 multidisciplinary scientists including cancer biologists, medicinal chemists, pharmacologists, clinicians, data scientists and evolutionary scientists discovering new drugs to defeat cancer.

Harris Academy Sutton Secondary school – opening September 2019

Due to be completed in September 2019 on the site of The London Cancer Hub, Harris Academy Sutton will couple a spectacular new £40 million building with an Academy Trust that has a reputation for providing excellent education.

The academy’s curriculum will be rich in all areas but its proximity to the world-leading doctors, scientists and technicians at the London Cancer Hub offers an opportunity for a cutting-edge specialism in science.

The new school is currently accepting applications for a place starting in September 2018, with it housed in temporary accommodation for the first year.

These are just the three most advanced projects of what will eventually be a much larger-scale redevelopment of the site. When The London Cancer Hub is complete, it will double the current space available on the site for cancer research, treatment, education and enterprise.