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As a result of a 17 million pound investment fund from the Government’s Growth Fund via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster University is currently in the process of setting up the Health Innovation Campus.
The aim of the Lancaster Health Innovation Campus is to help people live longer and healthier lives and will provide an integrated approach to healthcare and services for people who are growing older. The campus will be set up adjacent to the University campus and will develop solutions to problems caused by ageing populations. The campus will also focus on working with businesses and healthcare providers to make advances in technologies, products and services.
Speaking about the project, Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Atherton said: “As more and more people are living longer, research into improving the lives of people as they become older has never been more important. This campus will significantly help us to bring about advances in technology and care programmes through research alongside healthcare and commercial partners that will enrich people’s lives.”
According to the University, the Innovation Campus will: capitalise on the research profile, collaborative strengths and business linkages of the University; provide research and development activities and raise the profile of Lancaster University as an excellent partner for collaborative research; improve graduate retention in the area and mutually enhance the image and reputation of Lancaster, the region, the University and businesses.
Another feature of the campus is the inclusion of facilities to work on new technologies to improve assisted living and research into social care. There will also be space for a medical centre for research collaborations with the NHS and other health bodies and additional buildings and laboratories for relevant healthcare businesses to use.
Edwin Booth, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said: “The announcement of the creation of a new Health Innovation Park in Lancashire is tremendous news both for the local area and the county as a whole. Lancashire has a long history of creating economic and social benefits from cutting-edge science and I am sure that this new campus will continue that tradition, as we look for ways to meet the challenges of an ageing society.”
According to an independent economic impact assessment, when the campus is fully operational the project will have the capability to create more than 2,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of £99.8 million.
Councillor Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said the Health Innovation Campus is excellent news for Lancaster and the long term vitality of the district’s economy. She said “The health innovation campus is an exciting development of the original science park concept and will strengthen the district’s attractiveness for investors, further boosting economic growth and creating top quality jobs.”