A drive to connect patients with pioneering treatments took a massive stride forward this month after Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) brokered a landmark agreement on a cutting-edge life sciences facility right on the City’s fringe.
University principal Simon Gaskell and Barts Health chief executive Alwen Williams penned a headline deal on 1 September, purchasing land in Whitechapel to support joint aspirations for medical research and development.
The arrangement will provide QMUL with sufficient room to develop a 40,000 square metre complex that will support research, innovation and education, drawing on the university’s expertise in specialist areas such as genomics and the clinical capability of the country’s largest NHS trust.
“I’m delighted to sign this agreement with Barts Health, which unlocks a major opportunity for both organisations to work together in the interests of delivering better health outcomes for our local populations,” said Mr Gaskell.
“We can now move forward on developing our plans for a world-class life sciences centre at Whitechapel, building on QMUL’s internationally-leading expertise in genomics, and working with Barts Health and also with other partners from a range of sectors.”
The enormous potential will be enhanced by the exceptionally strong transport links that Whitechapel will boast once Crossrail is completed in 2018.
“Together with Queen Mary University of London we want to lead the way in detecting, preventing and managing health conditions and diseases,” added Ms Williams on behalf of the trust.
“With many of the world’s population groups on our doorstep and the expertise both our organisations bring to the table, we’re excited about the benefits for our community and beyond.”
A statement released by St Barts on the day of the announcement explained that work will continue over the coming weeks to finalise the detailed legal aspects of the agreement.
It added that discussions will also continue between the two parties around the joint development of additional space at Whitechapel for related activities.
Chiefs said the additional project would cover the spectrum, from research innovation to translation and clinical practice, while residential accommodation for key workers, students, and researchers was also in the pipeline.