Major milestones reached for new East of England cancer hospital

Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital (CCRH) has had the second stage of its business case, its Outline Business Case, approved by NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and HM Treasury.

The approval comes as the project appoint Laing O’Rourke as its preferred construction partner for the hospital’s next phase of design. The international construction firm will help finalise designs and ensure maximum value for money under a pre-construction services agreement, as the project moves closer to breaking ground.

The seven-storey c.26,300 m2 facility planned for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus is set to be the first hospital delivered in the East of England as part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

It will bring together NHS staff from Addenbrooke’s Hospital and researchers from the University of Cambridge and its Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre under one roof, in a new world-class hospital designed in partnership with patients and staff.

Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) and Cambridge University Development and Alumni Relations (CUDAR) are fundraising to secure additional significant donations needed for the hospital.

The project’s Outline Business Case demonstrates to Government the vision and benefits that Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital will offer to patients across the region.

Professor Richard Gilbertson, Research Lead for Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital and Head of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Oncology said:

"This is an exciting step in our journey to eradicate cancer. The opportunity for clinicians and researchers to collaborate with our industry partners to detect the earliest signs of cancer and deliver personalised treatments is a real game-changer.

"The innovations that will be coming out of this building will have a huge impact, not just here in Cambridge, but across the region, the UK and the world."

The new hospital aims to be a champion in sustainability; it will seek to be a low carbon and electric powered facility, ensuring maximum natural light and access to outdoor spaces, helping the NHS deliver a net zero health service.

It is being designed in partnership with cancer patients, their families and staff to ensure the new hospital will provide the best care to meet everyone’s needs.

Dr Hugo Ford, Clinical Lead for Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital and Director of Cancer Services at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

"This is a huge milestone in our plans to create a new specialist cancer research hospital that will deliver hope and better outcomes for millions of people across the globe.

"We have a unique chance to transform patient care through patient-led design alongside ground-breaking research.

"By bringing scientists into the heart of new clinical and hospital spaces, we will ignite cutting-edge discoveries which will ultimately make a massive difference to the care we give our patients and their quality of life.”

Laing O’Rourke has built 18 major hospitals since 2010, delivering world-class facilities for clinical staff and patients, including specialist cancer care facilities. Most recently they delivered the Louisa Martindale Building in Brighton, the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, the Grange University Hospital in Wales, as well as the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool, and before that the Cancer Centre at Guy’s & St Thomas in London.

Health Minister, Lord Markham, said: 

"The approval of the Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital’s second stage of its business case and confirmation of its preferred construction partner is a major milestone. 

"The proposed new seven-story specialist building will foster collaboration between hospital staff and researchers to help secure ground-breaking discoveries and encourage cutting-edge treatments for patients across the entire region. 

"This facility is set to be the first hospital delivered in the East of England as part of our New Hospital Programme and demonstrates our continued commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, backed by an expected £20 billion."

John Spicer, Project Director for Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital said:

"We are delighted to be working with Laing O’Rourke, who have an excellent record of building hospitals and major investment schemes with a focus on quality and sustainability across the country.

"We are partnering with them to develop our construction plans and to help bring innovation and unique expertise in modern methods of construction to the project, which will play an important role with our plans to build the East of England’s new cancer research hospital."

The state-of-the-art facility has been designed by architects NBBJ and engineers AECOM who will also support with construction project and cost management.

Rory Pollock, healthcare sector leader from Laing O’Rourke said:

"We’re thrilled to have been appointed as the preferred construction partner for Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital and to be working with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

"We’ve worked collaboratively with the design team NBBJ and AECOM on a number of healthcare projects over the past decade and our team will bring industry-leading knowledge to support the next stage of their design development journey.

"We will maximise the use of modern methods of construction to bring real benefits in terms of programme and cost certainty. We also understand that a hospital’s identity is paramount and will support the development of the non-clinical, public realm spaces to maximise the patient and staff experiences."

Work has now begun on the project’s Full Business Case, which will finalise the plans for the new facility.

A full planning application for Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital was submitted to Cambridge City Council in January and a decision is expected later this year. Construction works for the new hospital are due to start in 2024.

8 Aug 2023