Aviva and Socius to develop a £1 billion London Cancer Hub

Aviva Capital Partners and mixed-use specialist developer Socius have been chosen as the preferred bidders for a £1 billion development in Sutton, Surrey, to create a major new centre for cancer research and treatment in South London, it was announced yesterday.

The new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery

The London Cancer Hub (LCH) aims to be a 1 million sq ft life sciences district on a five-hectare site around Sutton Hospital. The multi-phase development will deliver 13,000 jobs – including 7,000 in health, science and education and 6,000 during the construction phase.

“The LCH will provide world-class cancer research and bolster the UK’s ambition to be a leader in the life sciences sector,” said Charlotte Jones, Aviva’s chief financial officer. “We are investing significantly in critical areas of the UK economy such as housing, green energy and healthcare, are using our capital to generate long-term income for our customers and help the UK to grow”.

Aviva and Socius will partner with the landowner, the London Borough of Sutton, and work closely with the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Sutton Council has been buying up land around Sutton Hospital for the LCH. “The LCH will bring many benefits to Sutton, London and the rest of the UK,” said Ruth Dombey, leader, Sutton council, adding that the council sees as its priorities “driving strong and fair economic growth, supporting job creation, education and skills developments, and allowing residents to access world class health services”.

Barry Jessup, managing director of Socius, described the plan as a “once in a generation opportunity to deliver a sustainable campus for excellence in cancer research”, that will build on the ground-breaking facilities already provided by the Institute for Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital adding a new eco-system of laboratories and commercial facilities in a campus setting.

“We’re confident that new commercial space here at LCH will deliver great benefits by encouraging innovative collaborations between academics, clinicians and industry and by facilitating the kinds of breakthroughs that can only come from working across scientific and organisational boundaries,” said Paul Workman, professor of cancer pharmacology and therapeutics at the Institute of Cancer Research.

Life-sciences is a fast-growing sector in the London economy. Another major hub, that will deliver 3.5 million sq ft of laboratory space and R&D facilities, is being developed in Canary Wharf and recently received planning consent.