Paterson Redevelopment Project update - November 2022
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. Now as the building construction nears completion, we’re looking ahead to how 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.
We are now within touching distance of the completion of the new build. It is going to be fantastic having everybody back together and experiencing that scope for the future growth and expansion of all of our cancer research activities.
Professor Nic Jones
Director of Strategic Initiatives
As we move into this final phase of the building development, there are many exciting things for you all to be looking out for.
For everyone located at The Christie and the Oglesby Cancer Research Building, you will have experienced the build rapidly coming to fruition with the final installation of glass panels and the placement of rain breakers that will provide it with its signature look.
Additionally, as you can well imagine, there is currently a lot of activity within the building taking place to ensure we meet the timelines of completing the build in the next two months. Such activity involves the kitting out of floors, installations of furnishings and final cosmetic touches.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you pictures taken in October 2022 of the building, including some of floors one and two which are now complete.
Move in updates
The work that has gone into the construction of this building has been phenomenal, and the pace at which progress is being made has been really impressive. The vast majority of construction will be complete by the end of this year, which is quite remarkable given the roadblocks we have faced such as COVID and Brexit along with the global disruption in building supply chains and skilled workers. The constructors IHP have done a fabulous job in mitigating these challenges.
During Q1 of 2023, functioning of the building will be assessed and validated before handing-over from the constructors in mid-March. This is slightly delayed compared to the original timetable, but importantly will have no impact on our plans for occupation. Detailed planning for the move from Alderley Park is progressing well and will take place between April and June 2023 which is pretty much unchanged from our initial plans.
We are developing plans to have an official opening of the building once the building is operational.
Aims of the new build
A principle aim of this new build is of course to provide research space that acts as a home to all of those people displaced by the fire in 2017. However, as you will be aware, the building will also become home to a large number of research-oriented clinicians and clinical staff from The Christie. The build will provide important future proofing space that will accommodate significant growth over the next five years. 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 MI, will be developing the strategy for such recruitment focusing on building strength in key priority areas where Manchester can really excel.
As discussed on many occasions, the build provides exciting opportunities to co-locate research activities and maximise collaboration and synergistic interactions. Research leaders within the MCRC, CRUK Manchester Institute and the Division of Cancer Sciences have been carefully planning the occupation of the building to fully capitalise on these opportunities. Such planning has not only focussed on the new build but also the OCRB applying the same principles to create a comprehensive ‘team science’ approach.
Haematological Oncology and the Biomarker Centre
A noteworthy example of this approach and the opportunity the new build provides involves the breadth and depth of clinical and non-clinical research in haematological cancers. This is a research focus that has significantly increased in strength over the last few years and for the first time these groups can be co-located which will undoubtedly promote even greater collaboration and free flow of ideas. We anticipate this will hugely benefit the translation and reverse translation of discoveries and insights between the laboratory and clinic. You can discover more about the strength on haematological cancer research in Manchester by looking at this REF case study covering research led by Professors John Radford and Tim Illidge into non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma.
The new build will also be home to the world-leading Cancer Biomarker Centre occupying prime location on the 3rd and part of the 4th floors, thus sandwiched between the research communities it constantly interacts with – the research clinicians on the 1st and 2nd floors and discovery research on the upper floors. In addition, on the 4th floor, research laboratories will be juxtaposed to academic pathology which will provide the ideal opportunity for synergy and sharing of expertise and technologies. These activities will be within minutes of the surgical theatres in The Christie and thus rapid access to precious samples.
Why Manchester is best suited for this build comes entirely down to the power of the MCRC partnership. Over the last 15 years, we have worked towards establishing a partnership that has a unified research vision and ambition and which coordinates and co-invests in people and infrastructure to deliver this vision. Crucially, the partnership brings together research across the spectrum from basic discovery science right through to the clinic.
Perhaps the clearest demonstration of the success and tenacity of this partnership is the new build. The vision crystallised within weeks of the devastating fire and the vast majority of the funding has come from the three partners. If that isn’t a demonstration of commitment to the partnership, then I don’t know what is.
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