Research 02.02.23

Funding for global first National Centre for Child Health Technology announced

South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard has announced the final £6m funding for the new National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT) at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, a global first centre which will develop the world’s most advanced and integrated healthcare system for children and young people.

The funding from South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), which was announced at a press conference on Thursday 2 February 2023, will form part of the total capital of £20m to start development of the NCCHT, which is expected to generate £2.13bn cumulative Gross Value Added (GVA) to the region over ten years, create 84 high-value jobs within the Centre and support a further 5,100 jobs throughout Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard said: “I’m committed to making South Yorkshire the healthiest region in our country. That has to start by giving children the best start in life. The NCCHT’s research will help to drive significant improvements in child health, which must be a priority, particularly for places like South Yorkshire.

“I’m really excited that our region will be home to a project that is the first of its kind, that will improve the health and lives of young children – not just in our communities, but across the country.

“I’m delighted that the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority is playing a part in the NCCHT’s journey, with a £6m funding package which will go towards developing innovative research assets.”

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is developing the centre in partnership with Sheffield City Council and leading property regeneration and placemaking specialist, Scarborough Group International (SGI).

Plans for the NCCHT include workshops and clinical spaces, with work focusing on developing technologies to address key national strategic priorities in child health including prevention and health inequalities, children’s mental health, obesity, long term conditions, children’s cancer, and children’s disability.

Comprising 42,000 sq ft of floor space the Centre will incorporate the Creativity and Manufacturing Zone to develop the most advanced child health technologies in the world, the Advanced Rehabilitation Centre, a centre for immersive technologies and robotics, a healthy living and prevention centre, a state-of-the-art test bed facility for rapid technology assessment in real-word settings, an advanced telecommunications centre and facilities for business growth, development and knowledge transfer.

The Centre will accelerate the research, development and evaluation of child health technologies and will join an impressive portfolio of health and wellbeing research facilities at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, including two Sheffield Hallam University venues – the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, alongside the Park Community Arena, developed by Canon Medical Systems.

This global first has been positively welcomed by world-leading and national organisations, including Google, AWS, Canon Medical, BT, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Health Education England, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, Westfield Health and Sheffield Hallam University.

Prof Paul Dimitri, Professor of Child Health and Director of Research and Innovation at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The development of the National Centre for Child Health Technology has been cited by industry partners as a global first. It is set to develop the most advanced therapies in the world through digital and technology development for children and young people.

“The current pandemic has brought some challenging child health issues back into stark focus – childhood obesity, mental health, access to healthcare for children with complex health needs and collectively the need to ensure that we protect children as they develop. The National Centre for Child Health Technology will play a central role in ensuring that we advance the way we develop sustainable and transformational healthcare and drive prevention for children to ensure the future is bright.”

The event, which was held at the Park’s most recently completed development – the Community Stadium, was hosted by Richard Caborn, Chair of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and former Sports Minister. Richard was joined by a panel of esteemed guests, including Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council; Ruth Brown, Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust; Paul Dimitri, Director of Research & Innovation at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust; and Mark Jackson, Group Development Director of Scarborough Group International.

The NCCHT acts as the turnkey for the next phase of development at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park as demonstrated by Mark Jackson, who gave an overview of the masterplan for the future of the Park with the addition of up to 1 million sq ft of high-quality space, realising a potential gross development value of circa £500m.

The first two major developments in the masterplan – the Innovation Centre and Move On Centre – will support development of the health, wellbeing, sport and physical activity innovation ecosystem for start-ups, scale-ups, accelerator programmes and other organisations.

Mark Jackson commented: “Over the past seven years, Legacy Park Ltd has successfully delivered £100m of investment that has enabled the creation of this phenomenal place, which is bursting with potential.

“This next phase will see Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park continue its growth, both in terms of facilities and reputation, with the addition of up to 1 million sq ft of commercial space that will further cement its position as the home of world-class innovation in sport, health and wellbeing.”

Richard Caborn added “We are incredibly excited for the NCCHT to get off the ground.

“Thanks to the funding from South Yorkshire Combined Mayoral Authority as well as from Sheffield Children’s and the Government’s Levelling Up Fund we can start to realise the potential of children’s health innovation.”

Cllr Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “I am so pleased with the progress being made at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. As a Council we’re proud to have been part of this fantastic project for several years – helping partners to deliver it and giving them the freedom to do so.

“The future is bright for the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and we look forward to what comes next.”