Greater Manchester awarded largest-ever research funding

The National Institute for Health and Care Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre has received a £59.1million award – the largest single research award given by the NIHR to the city region – to translate its scientific discoveries into new treatments, diagnostic tests, and medical technologies to improve patients’ lives in Greater Manchester, and beyond, over the next five years.

We are absolutely delighted to receive this award from the NIHR – which more than doubles our previous award. This is a testament to our achievements over the past five years and also to our vision for the future; expanding both our research themes and our geographical reach

Professor Ian Bruce, Director of NIHR Manchester BRC

Greater Manchester has been awarded the largest-ever research funding to tackle health inequalities and drive health improvements across the city region. Part of nearly £800 million awarded to 20 new Biomedical Research Centres across England by the NIHR, Greater Manchester’s award is part of a significant boost to the city-region, increasing the coverage of early-stage research across the nation and ensuring everyone has access to cutting edge clinical trials.

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres are partnerships between healthcare professionals and academics in the country’s leading NHS trusts and universities. The centres, part of NIHR’s research infrastructure, receive substantial levels of sustained funding to attract the best scientists and create an environment where experimental medicine can thrive, while also providing opportunities for a diverse range of professionals to undertake research, expanding research expertise.

Formed in 2017 with a £28.5 million five-year award from the NIHR, Manchester BRC is the largest BRC outside the South East of England and brings together world-leading academic clinical researchers. Manchester BRC is hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester, in partnership with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust. With this new 2022-27 award, Manchester BRC will increase research capacity by expanding our partnership to include three new NHS trusts; Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The new funding also allows Manchester BRC to expand from our current research areas of cancer, dermatology, hearing health, musculoskeletal, and respiratory, into further areas of relevance to our diverse populations including heart disease, mental health, and rare conditions.

Davine Forde, from Moss Side, is an Associate at the Manchester BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Network CIC, and the Patient Involvement Representative for the Manchester BRC Governance Board. She said: “Manchester has some of the poorest health outcomes in the country, especially in ethnic minority communities. I want to be part of the solution to fixing this, and I’m delighted to be working with Manchester BRC who share that vision.

“Manchester BRC doesn’t just talk about equality – it lives it, by giving value to the lived experience of our diverse population and communities. We are not just patients, but partners on par with academics and clinicians to help overcome these problems. We can all learn from each other, and Manchester BRC’s commitment to inclusivity means we are on the road to discovery together.

“As an individual living with several long-term conditions, we may not find the treatments for my conditions, but the legacy of Manchester BRC will be improving health outcomes and reducing health inequalities for my children, and grandchildren.”

Sir Michael Deegan CBE, Group Chief Executive of MFT, said: “Clinical research and innovation are key to Greater Manchester’s reputation as a world-class healthcare setting. We are very proud to host one of the largest NIHR portfolios in the country as part of our ‘One Manchester’ vision, and the new expanded Manchester BRC will help us to deliver even more cutting-edge treatments to our patients in Greater Manchester, and beyond.”

President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “This announcement is another example of the strength and depth of Greater Manchester’s provision as a world-leading centre for biomedical and health research.

“This funding will further enhance the rightly deserved reputation for the city-region and contribute to improving the health outcomes and inequalities for our residents, and many more people beyond. As a University, we are extremely proud of the work we have done over the past five years as a fundamental part of the BRC collaboration and very much look forward to working with our partners in the future.”

Read more on the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre website

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