Creation of new Innovation Gateway begins at The London Cancer Hub

An artist's impression of the planned Innovation Gateway

Published Wednesday, 17th March 2021

Work has begun to create a new Innovation Gateway – a high-quality incubator space for life-science companies – at the heart of The London Cancer Hub in Sutton.

The creation of the Innovation Gateway is a significant step in realising the vision of The London Cancer Hub, an ambitious partnership between Sutton Council and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, that aims to create the world’s leading district for cancer research, treatment and commercial enterprise.

The Innovation Gateway will offer innovative companies the chance to work side by side with world-class scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) within mixed laboratory, office and collaboration space.

It is due to open in late 2021 and will be home to a range of companies related to cancer, with a particular emphasis on accommodating start-ups, spin-outs and small teams from the biotech, medtech, data science and pharmaceutical industries.

The London Borough of Sutton, which owns the existing building which will be refurbished to create the Innovation Gateway, has appointed Kastner, the laboratory fit-out division of Bristol-based McFeggan Brown, to undertake the work.

Kastner will be refurbishing a two-story building at The London Cancer Hub previously known as Cumbrian House.

The total area available for life-science companies at the development will be around 6,300 square feet, with around 3,500 square feet set to be laboratory space. It is being developed to a flexible plan which will reflect the needs of companies, with up to seven separate laboratories plus shared laboratory space – and there will be an option for companies to take up an additional, larger space which could be laid out for their needs.

Major redevelopment

The building is being refurbished alongside a wider planned redevelopment of the surrounding wider space to create a high-quality public realm, which will join the Innovation Gateway with the adjacent Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, a state-of-the art new science building at the ICR.

There will also be the potential for tenant companies to access existing scientific services and facilities at the ICR, catering services and vibrant communal canteen areas. There are opportunities for companies at the Innovation Gateway to work directly with ICR researchers in a range of areas including drug discovery and development, immuno-oncology, Big Data and AI, microscopy, imaging and medical physics.

Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said: “I’m delighted that work has begun on the Innovation Gateway, the first major development at the London Cancer Hub site since the Council decided to pursue direct delivery, rather than working through commercial developers.

“This will bring new jobs to the borough and new opportunities to work alongside world-leading medical scientists and researchers. Local authorities are facing significant financial challenges and this project and this delivery model are key to our ambition of maximising the regeneration benefits of The London Cancer Hub for local people, as well as the broader benefits to society to be gained through enabling world-leading cancer research to happen here in Sutton.”

Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “The creation of the Innovation Gateway is a really significant step forward in realising the vision of The London Cancer Hub, an ambitious partnership that aims to create the world’s leading district for cancer research, treatment and commercial enterprise in Sutton.

“The ICR is a world leading academic centre for cancer drug discovery and we already collaborate with more than 100 companies to take new treatments to patients. This new development represents the first opportunity for companies to work directly with our scientists and clinicians from a base on site, and we are very excited about bringing in new tenants to further enhance our work in collaboration with industry to create new treatments for cancer patients.”

Companies interested in enquiring about taking space at the Innovation Gateway should contact Andy Carr, Business Development Manager at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, at andy.carr@icr.ac.uk or on 07718 490707.

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