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£9.5million investment in Manchester’s Biomedical Research Centre

24 Apr 2009

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has today agreed further funding and support for Manchester’s pioneering Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) with an investment of £9.5m to support operating costs whilst sustaining and further developing the BRC’s business plan up to 2012.

The investment this month follows the Agency’s initial investment, exactly one year ago, of £4.1 million to help launch the centre.

Run by a partnership led by the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester, the £35 million BRC will be part of an influential group of hospital and university research centres throughout the UK developing innovative treatments and medicines. The Manchester Partnership has provided matched funding of £9m to further enhance the BRC research capacity.

The Manchester BRC is one of the National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centres across the UK, designated by the Department of Health as the nation’s flagship clinical and academic partnerships, to drive forward the translation of excellent basic science into world leading therapeutics, diagnostics and treatments; supporting UK pharmaceutical and healthcare businesses.

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: “The Northwest is committed to developing and nurturing an internationally recognised knowledge base with science and innovation at the core of its global competitiveness. This Project will be a driver for the BRC to become one of the leading centres for translational medicine in the UK.

“Through investment in the recruitment of world-class researchers and by nurturing up-and-coming clinical academic talent through BRC Fellowships, it will facilitate rapid research successes. The Northwest is the only UK region outside the South East which has more than one BRC (Manchester and Liverpool) and we are delighted to be supporting this project.”

This second round of NWDA funding will allow the Centre to position itself to retain BRC status in 2011 when BRC status is reassessed nationally. The Manchester Partnership and the Department of Health has provided matched funding of £18.8m along with partners including AstraZeneca, Renovo, GlaxoSmithKline and the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility and Manchester City Council.

Mike Deegan, chief executive of the Trust, said: "The NWDA played a fundamental role in helping Manchester to secure the BRC, and continues to be a major supporter of this exciting partnership between clinicians in our hospitals and researchers at The University of Manchester.  This investment by the NWDA will enable us to achieve our goal of becoming a world class player in the biomedical research field and a leader in delivering innovative healthcare, as well as providing economic benefits to the NW region."

Professor Phil Baker, director of the BRC, added: "We are extremely grateful for the outstanding support we have received from the NWDA. The funding has helped us to attract more world-renowned researchers to Manchester, invest in state of the art facilities and equipment and launch a major training programme. The wide range of research projects now underway are set to deliver tremendous benefits to patients across the North West and beyond. This award enables the partnership of the Trust and The University of Manchester to move at a pace of investment to build our future research platform that we couldn’t consider without the backing of the NWDA."

The BRC is based at the Trust's Oxford Road site in Manchester city centre and is contributing to the creation of over 150 jobs and significant opportunities to engage in new collaborations with similar UK Knowledge based industries.

Ends

Notes for editors

The Manchester Partnership of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Manchester (UoM) has been designated one of the national BRCs and it will have to compete with all other BRCs and any new aspirants in 2011. Manchester and the NW must remain in the top tier of internationally competitive biomedical research centres, fulfilling a vital role to support the successful NW Biohealth cluster. It is therefore essential that we maintain this BRC status.

For further press information regarding the NWDA contact:

Neil Roscoe, Senior Press Officer on 01925 400232 or mobile 07980 713282 or neil.roscoe@nwda.co.uk