Liverpool has been chosen as the new Northern headquarters for one of the world’s most renowned medical institutions – The Royal College of Physicians (RCP).
In a landmark investment deal hailed as a key moment for the future of the Northern Powerhouse, the RCP, which was founded in 1518 by Henry VIII, is to establish its first centre of excellence outside of London at the beginning of 2017, in the city’s Knowledge Quarter Mayoral Development Zone.
Liverpool’s successful bid will see the RCP become the first anchor tenant of the Mayor of Liverpool’s £1bn flagship scheme to establish a world leading medical and scientific research hub, creating an estimated 10,000 new highly skilled jobs.
In a deal hailed as reminiscent of the beginnings of the game-changing Liverpool ONE retail development, the arrival of the RCP will signal the start of phase 1 of a 10-year development site, encompassing 1.8m sq ft, facing the newly rebuilt Royal Hospital.
The RCP will establish its Northern Centre of Clinical Excellence in a two phase move, eventually taking 70,000 sq ft of Grade A commercial space in a purpose built facility in 2020. The new centre will focus on medical training, examination, conferencing, quality improvement and research and is set to create 100 new jobs.
The RCP with Liverpool City Council, The University of Liverpool and the other Knowledge Quarter partners will now begin working closely together on the detail of the partnership to create RCP North and will make further announcements in the Autumn.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, announced the establishment of the Knowledge Quarter health, science and education hub as one of five Mayoral Development Zones at the International Festival of Business (IFB) in June. The Knowledge Quarter expansion site covers 11 acres, currently called Paddington Place, and is earmarked to host a new train station to connect it to the Merseyrail network.
Mayor Anderson said: “We are delighted that Liverpool has been chosen by the Royal College of Physicians as their preferred city partner for RCP North. With the support of the Knowledge Quarter partners and the experienced leadership of Sir Ian Gilmore and Liverpool Health Partners, the city fought off strong competition from other northern cities to secure one of the most exciting and prestigious inward investment projects of the past decade.
‘’The signing up of RCP North is not just a key moment for my Knowledge Quarter Mayoral Development Zone but also for the future prosperity of Liverpool and the Northern Powerhouse as the businesses that we are targeting to join RCP North will transform the lives of thousands upon thousands of people.
‘’This development site is an investment opportunity of international importance and will reposition Liverpool and the North in the life sciences industry. It will also unlock a new commercial market with immense spin off benefits in terms of high quality jobs and housing that will ripple right across the Liverpool city region.
‘’Liverpool has a proud history as a pioneer in the health sector and this deal will further cement the city’s growing reputation as a world leading city in 21st century medicine. Since my announcement at IFB we have already attracted interest from several parties and this deal is a huge shot of confidence and will send a clear signal that Liverpool is open for world class business.’’
Speaking on behalf of the Knowledge Quarter, CEO Colin Sinclair, said: “Our success in this bid proves the benefit of collaboration across the city regions and in this instance between the City, the University of Liverpool, The Royal and Broadgreen NHS Trust, The School of Tropical Medicine and Liverpool John Moores University. This proves that Liverpool can compete at the highest level for major inward investment projects.
‘’As part of a two-phase move The RCP will initially be located at The William Duncan Building on the University’s Life Sciences campus, opposite the New Royal, before moving to a purpose built facility on the adjacent Paddington Place development, by 2020.”
Professor Jane Dacre, president of the RCP, said: “This is a major advance for both the RCP and the promotion of clinical excellence and services in the UK and internationally. RCP North will significantly enhance our ability to provide more medical training, examinations, quality improvement and research for doctors, healthcare professionals in the UK and internationally.
“We are excited at the potential of this city partnership, which animates our strategic commitment to be regionally present and relevant, demonstrating modernity to the membership and fellowship of the RCP, and changing the perception that the College is London-centric.
“Liverpool offers us impressive opportunities to enhance clinical excellence and improve patient care with the creation of RCP North. We have been impressed by the collaboration and professionalism offered us by the City of Liverpool and look forward to developing our partnership to develop RCP North as an asset that will benefit healthcare and patients across the country.”