QMUL’s Life Sciences Initiative to play important role in Whitechapel rejuvenation

The changing face of Whitechapel over the coming years was the focus of a Future of London event held at the Blizard Institute on 28 May.

12 June 2015

President and Principal Simon Gaskell looking over the model of Whitechapel development
President and Principal Simon Gaskell looking over the model of Whitechapel development

Speakers including President and Principal Simon Gaskell, representatives from Tower Hamlets Council, Greater London Authority (GLA) as well as planners and developers discussed what change would mean for Whitechapel.

The event focused on how the life sciences and healthcare (LSH) sector is an important part of the development of the area.

Science and technology have been identified as key growth areas for London’s economy by the Mayor of London and Whitechapel is one of several areas in London seeking to take advantage of existing LSH resources – as shown by the establishment of MedCity in 2014.

Professor Gaskell noted that with the presence of clinical and research facilities, this presents the ideal opportunity to expand the life sciences sector. QMUL’s nearby QMB Innovation Centre already hosts research labs which work in collaboration with Barts Health NHS Trust, for example on cutting-edge genomic research.

Duncan Brown, Strategic Project Manager for the Whitechapel Vision Delivery team, at Tower Hamlets Council, added: “A new world class Life Sciences university campus arriving in Whitechapel is an enormous opportunity for local people. This is in terms of creating local employment, education, training, and skills, while providing new high quality open spaces for all residents to enjoy. The challenge will be in ensuring that Whitechapel’s unique historic character and cultural diversity is sustained and enhanced when the investment and physical regeneration begins to take place.”

Whitechapel will be the site of a huge amount of change with a Crossrail station due in 2018 and other development schemes set to take place.

Alongside these talks, audience members were shown a wooden model of the regeneration plans and taken on a field trip across Whitechapel, looking at the various sites of change over the coming years.

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For media information, contact:

Joel Winston
Faculty Communications Manager (Medicine and Dentistry)