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£35m Biomedical Research Centre to boost patient care

Medical researchers across Manchester are celebrating the groundbreaking announcement by the Department of Health that the city will be home to a new £35 million Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

The BRC will be run by a partnership led by the Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Manchester. It will be based at the Trust's Oxford Road site in the city centre.

The partnership has the support of Manchester City Council and the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA), plus leading healthcare businesses including AstraZeneca, Renovo and GlaxoSmithKline, and other partners such as the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility. The partnership will join the country's elite group of hospital and university research centres, developing new medicines and treatments in which Manchester has a long tradition of world firsts.

Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Mike Deegan said:

"This momentous decision means we can now embark on the final phase of a massive transformation project. Alongside our £500m investment in new hospital buildings and facilities, the Trust and University will be able to deliver world class research that benefits patients both locally and globally. We will make sure that the communities which surround the BRC also get additional benefit from jobs and new commercial opportunities."

Professor Alan Gilbert, President and Vice Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said:

"This announcement recognises the quality of the biomedical research currently being conducted in Manchester and the excellent partnership that has been forged between the University and the Trust to undertake world class clinical research. BRC status will strengthen the partnership and further establish Manchester as a key centre for the translation of scientific knowledge into improved patient outcomes."

Leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese said:

"This is a great boost for Manchester, which will help vital medical research, attract more top scientists to the city and support jobs in the local community. We know we face many challenges in health in this city. Now, thanks to this funding, research carried out here will mean that local people can benefit from those initiatives.

"The investment reinforces all the other improvements and regeneration taking place in the City South partnership. This is great news and long overdue. Congratulations to all involved in this vital bid."

Research funded through the Manchester BRC will include projects that aid our understanding of health, development and disease, develop new therapies for a range of conditions including cardiovascular disease and mental health, and identify ways to alleviate chronic long-term disability. Added the BRC's Director Professor Philip Baker:

"I'm thrilled by the announcement, on behalf of our research teams, staff and patients. We've already attracted some of the country's top research talent, and gaining BRC status well and truly puts Manchester on the worldwide research community's map. We will join other national BRCs in Oxford, Cambridge and London to create a powerhouse of research - all focused upon improving the way we treat and care for patients.

"People across the city of Manchester unfortunately have rates of heart disease, cancer, mental illness and other conditions which are higher than the national average, and they will benefit directly from research in these key areas as well as many others. Manchester will now be acknowledged as a beacon of innovation in healthcare."

The BRC will require funding of £35m to establish and run for the first four years. The Department of Health will provide £7.5m, and the remainder will be invested by the Manchester/NW partners, including the NWDA and Manchester City Council. The BRC's operational headquarters on the Trust's Oxford Road site will co-ordinate all research programme management and administration. The Trust's £500m New Hospitals Development includes new biomedical research laboratory space, creating a truly world class clinical academic campus. In addition, the BRC will create over 100 new jobs over the next two to three years and will enable more patients to access leading edge treatments through involvement in clinical trials.