Plans submitted for National Centre for Child Health Technology at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

A planning application has been formally submitted to Sheffield City Council for a global centre of excellence to improve child health at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Scarborough Group International (SGI), working in partnership with Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, has submitted detailed plans for the proposed circa 36,000 sq ft National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT) to be located at the Park.

Plans for the NCCHT include laboratories, workshops and clinical spaces, with work focusing on developing technologies to address key national strategic priorities in child health including childhood obesity, child and adolescent mental health, cancer, disabilities, long-term conditions and prevention.

The £26m flagship project, part-funded by £8.9m of Levelling Up Funding, will become the latest research and innovation facility on the Park, following in the footsteps of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) and Canon Medical Systems’ soon-to-commence Park Community Arena, which will become the UK’s first affordable net-zero carbon built sports, healthcare and community arena featuring an integrated Medical Diagnostic Centre.

Mark Jackson, Group Director at SGI, commented: “This planning submission is an important milestone in delivering our vision for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, a scheme that will put Sheffield at the forefront of the UK life sciences industry. Not only will the NCCHT deliver life-changing health innovations to children from across South Yorkshire and beyond for generations to come, but it will provide an opportunity to attract highly-skilled researchers and medical professionals to the city creating over a hundred highly-skilled jobs.

“As development partner for the next phase of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, we have worked in partnership with Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield City Council to rapidly progress the design of this transformational project and we are looking forward to commencing construction work on site in the very near future.”

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.”

Kate Martin, Executive Director, at Sheffield City Council, said: “The NCCHT puts Sheffield at the forefront of cutting-edge technology that will transform the lives of children and young people for years to come. We are proud to be working with our partners to pave the way for a wealth of pioneering research, and this key milestone is another fantastic step forward for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and the city.”

Dr Chris Low, Chief Executive at Legacy Park Ltd, said: “Unparalleled synergies are being created by the increasing number of innovation assets at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, and the NCCHT is one that is critical to the ambition to maximise our positive impact on the health of the nation. Along with our education and skills pathways on the Park, NCCHT will help to create the jobs and the workforce of the future.”

This latest news builds on the momentum for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park’s vision to establish a world-class hub for innovation in sport, health and wellbeing, having already benefitted from over £100m of investment in its first development phase.

SGI is now working on future detailed planning applications to develop the next phase of the Park, including a 100,000 sq ft Innovation Centre along with a purpose-built 70,000 sq ft Grow-On Centre to support businesses as they mature and expand within the Park’s environment.

The outline planning application is also due to be submitted for the wider masterplan, which will include a further 900,000 sq ft of commercial space, alongside public realm improvements and transport infrastructure.

The planning application for the NCCHT was led by Zerum, alongside a project team featuring architects, HLM and Whittam Cox; structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, Arup; landscape architects, Ares.