Government to invest £250m in UKCMRI

The Government is to invest £250 million in the project to build a world class research centre that will tackle some of the biggest biomedical challenges.

On a visit to the Wellcome Trust, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown reviewed the plans for the institute and announced the government funding for the project:

"I think there is nothing more important to the future of our society and our economy than what we are setting in motion. I believe that the project that we are discussing today will transform lives, will make for a stronger economy, will put us at the forefront of research around the world and will give people a huge amount of hope about the future."

The dedicated funds will be in addition to the £47million already spent by the MRC on the UKCMRI site, totalling the MRC's contribution to around £300million.

The Chair of UKCMRI Sir David Cooksey said: "This funding announcement is a wonderful endorsement of this exciting project. It will allow us to create a world leading medical research institute that will enable groundbreaking research to turn discoveries into treatments, provide long-lasting benefits to people through the NHS and help deliver the innovations that will help to build and sustain the UK economy for decades to come."

Professor Sir Paul Nurse, Chairman of Scientific Planning at UKCMRI, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine and President of Rockefeller University in New York said: "UKCMRI will be one of the world's largest centres of biomedical research - accommodating 1500 scientists and staff. It will create the critical mass to find new ways to tackle difficult biological questions in health and disease. This investment helps us deliver a unique national asset supporting the biomedical research endeavour throughout the UK."

John Cooper the interim Chief Executive of UKCMRI added: "This funding will allow the creation of UKCMRI at the heart of a cluster of biomedical and clinical expertise in north London. Researchers from different disciplines will work together to fight cancers, heart disease, infectious disease of the immune and nervous systems, and the multiple degenerative conditions associated with ageing."

UKCMRI will be constructed on 3.6 acres of land, to the north of the British Library in the St Pancras and Somers Town area of north London. The planning application for UKCMRI will be submitted in the summer, following a consultation period with the community and stakeholders. Work is scheduled to begin on the site in early 2011, for completion in early 2015.

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