Government grants totalling £300,000 have been awarded to Sutton’s Liberal Democrat Council to support its visionary London Cancer Hub project in Belmont.
The Cabinet Office has just announced that the Council will receive £250,000 for the 2016-17 financial year to support delivery of the Cancer Hub, a proposed 20-hectare campus that, when completed, would be the second-largest life-science cluster in the world. The award is part of the One Public Estate (OPE) programme and is on top of £50,000 of initial development funding already allocated by the Government.
The One Public Estate (OPE) is a pioneering initiative delivered in partnership by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit (GPU) and the Local Government Association (LGA). It provides practical and technical support and funding to councils to deliver ambitious property-focused programmes in collaboration with central Government and other public sector partners.
The London Cancer Hub is a partnership between the London Borough of Sutton and the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR), with supporting partners The Royal Marsden, the Greater London Authority and the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The proposed new global centre for cancer research, diagnosis and treatment will specialise in cancer research, treatment, education and enterprise, and will provide development space for biotech, pharma, and software and technology companies.
The London Cancer Hub will be located on the Sutton site of the former Sutton Hospital, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden in Belmont and Epsom and St Helier Hospital in Sutton. The site will double the space available for world-class cancer research, deliver a wide range of dynamic scientific facilities and substantially increase the rate of discovery of new treatments and their availability for cancer patients.
Cllr Ruth Dombey, Lib Dem Leader of Sutton Council, in warmly welcoming the announcement, said: “We are delighted the Government recognises the importance of the London Cancer Hub for the rest of the country by allocating funds for its development. The Hub’s pioneering cancer research and care work would have the potential to put Sutton and the UK at the forefront of cancer research worldwide. It would be a huge boost to the local and national economy, providing new business opportunities that will create thousands of employment and training opportunities.”
Lord Porter of Spalding, Chairman of the LGA, said: “Half the councils in the country are now taking part in the One Public Estate programme, demonstrating the real leadership of local government in their communities, freeing land to provide the homes and jobs that people need, helping services to work better together, and bringing in money while generating savings for the future.”
The proposed total transformation of the site in the south of Sutton borough would see inward investment in excess of £1 billion over the lifetime of the London Cancer Hub project. More than 13,000 new jobs are expected to be created in Sutton – 7,000 life-science, clinical and support staff, and another 6,200 in the site’s construction.
One Public Estate began in 2013 as a pilot programme in 12 different areas in England. In 2014, a further 20 pilots were successful in joining the programme. Together, these 32 partnerships have shown that with the right expertise and support, a small investment can unlock significant benefits in service transformation, local growth and efficiency savings. In December 2015, the Government announced a major expansion to the OPE programme.
Backed by £6m of funding announced at the Summer Budget 2015, 107 local authorities working in 24 partnerships successfully joined the programme.
These partnerships have developed a wide range of land and property-focused projects. Together they expect to deliver 16,500 new homes, 36,000 new jobs, raise £138 million in capital receipts and save £56 million in running costs over the next five years.