Health land | London Borough of Sutton London Cancer Hub

This is the third case study in One Public Estate's 'Unlocking the value in public sector assets', published in 2017.


Region: London
Theme: Health and social care (in OPE)

The challenge

The London Cancer Hub represents an unprecedented and unique opportunity to transform 26 hectares of brownfield land in multiple public sector ownership, to create the world’s largest life science cluster specialising in cancer research and treatment outside of the USA. With 14 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year worldwide and rising, there is a pressing need to accelerate cancer innovation to discover better treatments for cancer.

The London Cancer Hub will be delivered by multiple cross-sector organisations working closely together: the London Borough of Sutton, the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR), the Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, life-science development partner, and Transport for London.

The partners have worked for two years to develop a masterplan and delivery strategy; a critical factor to unlock the development potential of the London Cancer Hub is the land owned by the NHS. The land identified for expansion – 5.94 hectares of land – under the ownership of Epsom St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. Together with funds and influence from OPE to prepare the enabling actions (see below) the project has managed to move on from the planning phase.

The vision

The London Cancer Hub will be the world’s leading life science campus specialising in cancer research and treatment.

The Cancer Hub concept is to take advantage of the vacant and underutilised land on and around the existing ICR estate in Sutton and redevelop it to create an expanded, vibrant community of scientists, doctors and companies. This would be undertaken with the intention of accelerating innovation to expand the delivery of a range of benefits for cancer patients and in so doing it could significantly boost local and national economic growth.

The actions

The London Borough of Sutton joined the One Public Estate (OPE) programme in October 2016 and was awarded funding to kick start delivery of the project which will support local growth and make a real difference to the community and public services in Sutton.

In addition to funding, OPE is supporting the establishment of robust governance between partners which is essential to drive delivery of this major project, and support the enabling activities that are critical to progress the project until a commercial development partner is appointed. 

These include:

  • undertaking a business case review – the business case is being finalised
  • securing NHS approval for bringing together the estate – this step is being finalised
  • bringing land under single ownership through a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) – the LLP is underway.

The outcome

The London Cancer Hub Partnership has been steadily making progress towards their vision for two years. The OPE Programme has already started and will continue to help broker relationships with central government departments and ensure they are effectively co-ordinated to facilitate the growth agenda.

The delivery of The London Cancer Hub will take 20 years to be fully realised. However, over the next 10 years the partnership have projected the achievement of the following outcomes; capital receipts of £30 million, reduced running costs of £275 million, creation of 10,000 new jobs, creation of 1,080 new homes and generation of £1 billion of inward investment.

The next steps

  • Establish a delivery vehicle to hold land and facilitate development.
  • Produce a development infrastructure funding strategy as a system of coordinating multiple funding sources to implement a phased programme of infrastructure enhancements.
  • Appoint a commercial investment partner – through OJEU procurement, the London Cancer Hub partners will bring on-board a private sector investor/developer.
  • Design and implement research hub through the creative interim use of heritage buildings.
  • Develop a marketing strategy to engage occupiers and enhance the site as a centre of excellence within London MedCity.
  • Develop a hybrid planning application to create a detailed masterplan as outline; planning permission and full planning applications for Phase 1 projects.
  • Enhance transport capacity by implementing a phased transport investment strategy
  • Develop the community plaza as the central public square.

For further information please contact our Regional Programme Managers for London.