By Max Clarke

Plans to build Europe’s largest biomedical research centre in Camden have today been approved by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The pioneering laboratory and research institution, located in Brill Place, will become a world class facility for cancer research, securing 1,500 jobs, strengthening the capital’s reputation as centre for excellence for medical science and helping maintain its competitiveness in health education.

Plans for the 90,000 square foot environmentally sustainable centre were submitted by the UKCMRI Consortium, consisting of Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council (MRC) and University College London (UCL). Once completed, its staff will develop life-changing new treatments for illnesses including cancers, heart disease, strokes and flu.

The biomedical laboratory and cancer centre will accommodate 1,200 researchers and 300 support staff as well as incorporating educational activities such as school visits and demonstrations, and will be named the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI). The plans include a lecture theatre, exhibition space and teaching laboratory, while at the same time regenerating an overlooked part of London’s urban realm.

In a letter to Camden Council today, the Mayor confirmed he was content to sign off approval on the proposal, which was previously granted by Camden Council in December 2010.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “This visionary new centre will become a beacon of excellence in the fight against fatal diseases, making a real difference to the treatment of patients.

“What is more, top class scientists from around the globe will be looking to London as a global centre for medical research, attracting the brightest and best scientific minds to the capital.

“I look forward to hearing about major medical breakthroughs stemming directly from the work of the scientists at this fabulous new facility.”

The Director and Chief Executive of UKCMRI, Sir Paul Nurse said: “We are delighted the Mayor has approved our plans to build the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation. Our ambition is to harness the extraordinary scientific excellence of both London and the United Kingdom to improve health and fight disease.

“UKCMRI will be an institute where discoveries will be made by researchers from many disciplines - biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians - working together in new ways.

“This will speed up our ability to tackle diseases including cancer, heart disease and stroke, infections and diseases of the immune and nervous systems. It will improve the health and lives of families throughout the world and will bring enormous opportunities for the London and UK economy."