The idea is to build the £500 million ‘UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation’ as a partnership project – the key players are the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and University College Hospital. All very exciting. London could do with being the best, the tops, the biz, in a few areas, as it is so often dissed or trailing in the leagues these days. And this new facility sounds like it could be a world leader. Useful stuff as well, medical research (although as Londonist verges on rampant hypochondria at times, we’ll not be going into too much detail therein).
Objections so far have concentrated on the fact that the land could be put to ‘so much better use’ - for new homes and community facilities in an area which is not perhaps one of the more bijou quarters of our great city. Fair comment. But snucked into the arguments for this is what Londonist fears is the underlying cause for dissent: the somewhat fatuous belief that a medical research centre is effectively a building full of germs waiting to escape.
By all accounts the average hospital ward is far from safe from infection, and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases is already but a stone’s throw away (now we can understand not wanting to live next door to that). The location is of course perfect for two of the main partners – UCH and the Wellcome Trust
We are sympathetic to the protestors…but this is potentially one classy and very important project, and (as long as Londonist doesn’t have to think about anything remotely medical) we give it a big thumbs up.
Pretty protein piccies from the Wellcome Trust care of our very own M@’s flickr stream.