Paterson Redevelopment Project completion update - May 2023
Update from Professor Nic Jones, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the MCRC
Following a devastating fire in 2017, the development of a new cancer research centre on the site of the former Paterson Building represents a unique opportunity to create a world-leading facility, right in the heart of Manchester. This new facility will help to support and integrate our discovery and translational research and transform patient outcomes through advances in the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.
As construction has now reached its completion, we’re reflecting on the tenacity of our partners to drive this building to fruition, as well as looking ahead to the next steps of the Paterson Redevelopment Project.
I think it’s sometimes easy to forget the journey we’ve been on. But actually, it’s been quite a remarkable journey which began with the tragic fire and which progressed through thick and thin to see the building rise out of the ashes. To reach this stage of completion is a real success story and is due to the fantastic strength of the partnership we have here.
Professor Nic Jones
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Friday 31st March was a significant milestone in the Paterson rebuild, marking the signing over of the building from IHP to The Christie and subsequent agreement of lease arrangements between the University and the Christie.
It was a truly momentous day, and this building has been nearly six years in the making. It has been an incredible journey, and at times quite emotional, with lots of challenges. However, we have come through these roadblocks, maintaining our timetable and budget, and that really is pretty remarkable. This building looks and feels fantastic both inside and outside – the way that it has been designed to promote interaction and synergy and the fact that this has been built by a partnership between The Christie, The University of Manchester and Cancer Research UK is something we should be extremely proud about.
While the building work is complete, there are still small bits of work that need to be finished both inside and outside of the building, such as correcting inevitable snagging issues within the building and finishing off some landscaping on the exterior. This work will be carried out and completed over the next few weeks, causing minimal disruption.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you pictures of the completed building.
At the end of the day, as magnificent as it is, it is a building. It’s the research that goes on inside this building that is key, especially with the emphasis on Team Science and synergy. This is not only an exciting development for people already in Manchester, but for those that it will attract and recruit.
Professor Nic Jones
Move in updates
Although we have faced inevitable roadblocks, we are now in a position where we can begin moving all of the displaced and new groups back into the building. As groups begin their move into the building, we can expect some levels of disruption.
In the last week of April, we will start to see groups moving across from both the OCRB and Alderley Park, with moving activities due to finish at the end of June, which is the original timetable planned. We therefore hope to have everybody settled into the building and resuming their research activities by the start of July.
This moving process will be facilitated by a professional relocation company as well as Project Managers who have been working closely with Stuart Pepper and Caroline Wilkinson to orchestrate this move in the smoothest possible fashion. The core facilities will be moved up from Alderley Park in the first wave of moves followed by Caroline Dive’s Biomarker Centre and then an influx of individual labs into the building. This all follows a very detailed and complex schedule which could not have been devised without the work of the aforementioned people.
Aims of the new build
The whole strength of Manchester is its partnership, which facilitates the marriage between discovery research and clinical research. The fact that this build is adjacent to The Christie, the largest single-site cancer centre in Europe, ensures that research is translated into the clinic and vice versa.
It provides a key ingredient for progressive cancer research and this build now provides exciting opportunities to cluster research activities across the cancer campus here in Withington. The groupings of research teams have been really well thought out, bringing groups that are now quite disparate in terms of location into neighbouring research areas. My hope is that with the establishment of this new building, we will see significant growth in our activities over the next five years.
The build will also provide important future proofing space that will accommodate significant growth in the future. I envisage that the new facilities, as well as the ethos that underpins its design and use, will be a great asset for future recruitment. The research leaders including a new Director of the CRUK Manchester Institute, will be developing the strategy for this recruitment drive, focusing on building strength in key priority areas where Manchester can really excel.
Complete the relocation of staff into the building by the end of June. We are also developing plans to have an official opening of the building, hopefully in the autumn of 2023.
Paterson Building key facts
- This building will be occupied by the largest number of scientists, doctors and nurses in Europe
- 20% cement replacement material was used, resulting in significant CO2 savings
- 10,000 m3 of concrete has been used; enough to fill four Olympic sized swimming pools
- 16,000 cubic metres of materials have been recycled from the basement evacuation
- The building height from the basement to the rooftop is 54.2 metres; equivalent to 12 double decker buses