A new global hub for cancer research aiming to accelerate the discovery of new treatments is to be established in Sutton.
The London Cancer Hub aims to bring together 10,000 scientists, clinical and support staff in a vibrant community of collaborating organisations served by research, educational and leisure facilities.
The project will potentially create 13,000 jobs and will deliver at least two extra cancer drugs every five years in a research and development space for biotech, pharma, software and equipment manufacturing companies.
Councillor Ruth Dombey, Sutton Council leader, said: “The London Cancer Hub will do for south London what Tech City has done for east London.
“It will create thousands of employment and training opportunities for local people and we will be supporting young people to get into the sector by facilitating the building of a school on the site which specialises in the life sciences.
“There will also be a tremendous boost for our local economy, with business opportunities generated by the workforce and visitors, and the development of transport infrastructure needed to support the world-leading site.”
The hub is a partnership between The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the London Borough of Sutton.
The hub will be developed on the site of the ICR and The Royal Marsden and will cover 265,000sqm, double the area of its current research and development space.
The roadmap document released on Wednesday 3 acknowledges the need to enhance transport links to the site – ideally through a £200m project to bring the tram to Sutton – and to ensure housing and other aspects of infrastructure are upgraded.
Professor Paul Workman, Chief executive of ICR London, said: “This is a fantastically exciting project to create the world’s leading cancer research campus here in London.
“The ICR and The Royal Marsden are already world leaders in cancer research and treatment, but by working with the London Borough of Sutton and the Greater London Authority, we aim to take our facilities and outputs to a new level.
“The ambition is to discover more innovative cancer drugs, to run more clinical trials, and to partner with industry to take even more treatments to patients.”
The initiative will be financed through a combination of private investment, Government grants, philanthropy and commercial rental income.
The project is in line with the MedCity initiative launched by London Mayor Boris Johnson in 2014, aimed at transforming the life sciences sector in the capital and the south east of England.
The Mayor said: “London is already a global capital of science and is awash with numerous exciting research institutions.
“The London Cancer Hub would be a real coup for the city and would help to ensure that the capital remains on the frontline of developing new treatments to cure the disease.”
A full plan for the site and the surrounding area will be set out in a ‘masterplan’ which is scheduled to be released for public consultation later this month as part of Sutton Council’s 15-year Local Plan.
Local residents will be given the chance to feed in their views about the plans.
Image courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program, with thanks