Underlines role as leading constructor of science and technology facilities

Willmott Dixon have been chosen by The Royal Free Charity to build a world-leading research centre which will advance the understanding of conditions including cancer and diabetes.

The UCL Institute for Immunity and Transplantation, which will open in 2020, will bring together leading scientists, academic clinicians and clinical trials specialists to develop revolutionary treatments and therapies for patients.

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It will be housed in The Pears Building, will be situated next to the Royal Free Hospital in London, and has been made possible through the largest ever fundraising effort by the Royal Free Charity, including a generous donation from the Pears Foundation.

The new contract further underlines Willmott Dixon’s track-record for building science and technology facilities of national importance, which include a home for the Met Office’s new supercomputer and the RAL Space facility at the Harwell Science Campus in Oxfordshire, a world-leading facility for testing satellites prior to being sent into space.

Chris Burghes, chief executive of the Royal Free Charity:

“We have worked extremely hard to raise the funds for this vitally important research centre. Now we’ve reached this momentous point and construction work can begin. In about 129 weeks we will have the most amazing building for the benefit of patients. It will be a fantastic facility that will make us all proud. This project is about looking ahead to the future of healthcare and better ways of treating diseases and conditions that affect people in our local community, as well as others around the UK and the rest of the world.”

Chris Tredget, managing director for Willmott Dixon in North London:

“This is an exciting moment for us. The Pears Building will revolutionise the ability to treat serious medical conditions like cancer and help reduce the amount of time it takes for new medicines to be available for people to use. We are proud to be using our skills for building world-class science and medical facilities to deliver this hugely important clinical research centre.”

The Pears Building will combine NHS patient care with the latest developments in research to provide better treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, HIV, and tuberculosis, and for traditional and tissue-developed transplants.

Designed by Hopkins Architects, building work will start in early March and is due for completion in 2020. Teams from the UCL Institute for Immunity and Transplantation, already working within the Royal Free Hospital, will then move into the purpose built centre to benefit from the facilities, space to expand and a better environment for patients undergoing treatment.