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Liverpool Leading The Way In Children’s Research – Work Begins On Dedicated Research And Education Centre

Mark Chitty Louise Shepherd Saskia StubbsClare White Lola Stubbs Professor Ian Greer Georgia Semple and Cllr Jane CorbettChildren and young people joined representatives from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the University of Liverpool at a special event today to celebrate a new, innovative Research and Education Facility.

The three storey centre is being built alongside Alder Hey’s new hospital ‘Alder Hey in the Park’ and will be home to around 100 education, research and clinical staff. The new facility will place Alder Hey and Liverpool as a national and international leader in the development of safer and more effective medicines for children and young people. Funding for the new facility has been generously provided by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, University of Liverpool, the Wolfson Foundation, the European Regional Development Fund, Matalan, Liverpool City Council and Alder Hey Children’s Charity.

Young people from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN): Children’s Young Person’s Advisory Group (YPAG) filled a time capsule with memories and information about paediatric research today, which will later be buried on the site of the new Research and Education Centre. They were joined by Louise Shepherd (Chief Executive of Alder Hey), Professor Ian Greer (Provost at the University of Liverpool), Lady Derby (President of the Alder Hey’s Children’s Charity), Cllr Jane Corbett (Liverpool City Council) and Mark Chitty (Project Manager Morgan Sindall). The young people work closely with research professionals and clinicians to design and develop research that meets the needs of children and their families.

Sir David Henshaw, Professor Ian Greer and Cllr Jane Corbett opened the event which gave visitors from the clinical, research and education world an opportunity to find out more about current research and the opportunities the new centre will provide in improving children’s healthcare.

Louise Shepherd, Alder Hey Chief Executive said: “Alder Hey is already a centre of excellence for paediatric research and education in the UK which remains central to our future strategy. The new facility will have research, education and treatment facilities that no other UK or European children’s hospital can offer. Sharing knowledge and expertise within a centre such as this will help us to confirm our place as a world leader and provide a facility for the highest level of research and development for future generations. Today was an incredibly proud moment for everyone at Alder Hey as we celebrated this ambition with our research partners, all of whom have an essential part to play in the future healthcare research for children.”

The new facility will allow researchers to develop safer, better medicines for children to use in the NHS and throughout the world. It will also help give children in the North West greater access to emerging life-saving technologies and provide world-class facilities to continue to attract outstanding researchers to Liverpool. Alder Hey and the University of Liverpool are also aiming to establish a Biomedical Research Unit within the facility, with potential to leverage up to £35m in research funding.

Provost Professor Ian Greer said: “The University and Alder Hey have successfully worked together for nearly 50 years at our Institute of Child Health, which addresses research in areas such as sepsis, bronchiolitis and asthma.

“Together we have made major advances, including the world’s first trial of a fully licensed drug for use in children with arthritis.  We are proud to be fundraising for this new facility and have already received generous donations that will help us to further improve the health of children anywhere in the world.”

Cllr Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for education and children’s services, including child health said: “Liverpool is a city with a vision for life sciences, whether it is in research, healthcare or education and this further investment at Alder Hey builds on that commitment in helping to transform lives.

“Alder Hey is already one of Europe’s biggest and busiest children’s hospitals offering many specialist services and I know this new centre’s work will have a positive impact on children and families in Liverpool as well as nationally and internationally.”

Leading construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall was selected to build the new centre following a competitive tender process.

Barry Roberts, Morgan Sindall Area Director, said: “Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has touched the lives of many people throughout the years and the new Research and Education facility will result in life-changing discoveries for many more. Healthcare buildings are always special to us because of the positive impact they aim to have and we are looking forward to unveiling the finished facility to them in its centenary year, 2015.”

Clare White, Director of Charities at Alder Hey said: “We are delighted to be able to support such an incredible project. This new Centre is a fantastic example of how charitable funds can have a real impact on the future of children’s healthcare.”

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