A new home for life sciences in London
Welcome to our website for the Whitechapel Road development. Our vision is to transform a series of out-dated buildings and empty sites around the Royal London Hospital, with a new masterplan that provides life sciences office space, as well as exciting new public amenities including cafés and community spaces. The development has the potential to generate thousands of jobs and our plans include improving the streets and public spaces in the local area.
Our plans will help to deliver a long-held vision for life sciences in Whitechapel which is shared with Barts Health NHS Trust, Queen Mary University London, the Greater London Authority and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Together we want to see the area develop into a life science cluster, with a mixture of small, medium and large commercial life science and knowledge-related companies, all co-locating with the existing institutions.
On this website you can view our proposals and also learn more about the growing life sciences sector in the UK and in London and how we believe Whitechapel fits into that story. You can also find out more about the proposed new buildings and the new public spaces. If you have any questions or would like to sign up to our mailing list to be kept updated on the project, please complete the form on the contact page.
Student winners see artwork on display in Whitechapel
- Art competition organised by NHS Property Services for local students, with the winning art used as decorative hoarding for the Whitechapel Road Life Sciences Development.
- Children from local secondary schools were invited to science careers workshops at Queen Mary’s Centre of the Cell. Students were then tasked to create artwork based on their visit.
- The proposed life sciences development will be transformative for Whitechapel, supporting over 5,500 new jobs, and much required research of new health treatments.
Whitechapel Road has undergone a facelift thanks to local schoolchildren and their exciting artwork.
Children’s drawings now adorn hoardings on Whitechapel Road, in a prominent location next to the Dental Hospital, with the colourful creations reflecting everything from the students’ love for their local community, to the importance of more diversity in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine).
The new hoardings surround one of five vacant sites in the heart of Whitechapel which are proposed for the delivery of new, state-of-the-art life science buildings. The planning application for these sites is being brought forward by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS Property Services (NHS PS) and could see the creation of 5,500 new jobs in the area.
Working with Queen Mary University London and Barts Health NHS Trust, the proposals will help to facilitate the faster development of new treatments, and inspire more inclusive research to reduce health inequalities. It is also expected to generate between an extra £7m to £12m per year for the local economy and will see the introduction of new, green public spaces and improvements to existing public realm helping to create a safer and more accessible local environment.
The competition to find the winning drawings was run by NHS Property Services, who funded visits for three local schools to visit Queen Mary’s Centre of the Cell, for a series of workshops about careers in science and health.
The students then created their drawings based on what they had learnt during the visit, with the winning art chosen to feature on the hoardings. Those winning students were also given an Amazon voucher as a prize.
Three local schools from Tower Hamlets took part in the competition – Swanlea School, Stepney All Saints School and St Paul’s Way Trust School.
The decorative hoardings are complemented by the installation of the new green wall on the corner of Whitechapel Road and New Road. NHS Property Services have been working with the Tower Hamlets Development Coordination team, to help support biodiversity loss with the installation of a vertical wildflower meadow, for the general public to enjoy. When it flowers in the spring, the green wall will provide a habitat for birds with its bio-diverse plants and help reduce noise by up to 15Db.
One of the winning students from Swanlea School next to his drawing
Students from Swanlea School next to their drawings on Whitechapel Road
Queen Mary University of London takes major stake in Whitechapel Life Sciences development
Queen Mary University of London has agreed a property deal with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that paves the way for the development of a state-of-the-art life sciences centre and supports DHSC plans for a Whitechapel Life Sciences Cluster. This development will help to deliver a long-held local vision – shared with Barts Life Sciences, a partnership between Queen Mary and Barts Health NHS Trust, supported by Barts Charity – to establish east London as a major centre of excellence in life sciences, creating high-quality jobs and skills programmes, and attracting industry investment from start-ups to multi-national corporations. NHS Property Services are leading on the project for DHSC, involving a planning application and transaction management for the whole Cluster….
Queen Mary already has a strong presence in Whitechapel for life sciences research, innovation, education and engagement, which the new facility will substantially augment. This landmark deal underlines Queen Mary’s commitment to tackling health inequalities at a local, national and global level through world-class research, education and community engagement.
Queen Mary and Barts Health NHS Trust have a strong and long-standing partnership that has a track-record of delivering life-changing health outcomes, including for communities that are often under-represented in healthcare research and delivery, and education. Examples include the East London Genes & Health study that has helped identify the genetic determinants for specific illnesses, including Covid-19, among Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities.
The continuation of that partnership through Barts Life Sciences and the creation of this new Queen Mary facility will ensure developments in life science research will quickly lead to improvements in health outcomes both for the diverse communities of east London and people all over the world.
Minister for Innovation, Lord Kamall, said:
“From rapidly creating vaccines to identifying life-saving treatments like dexamethasone, clinical research has been vital in our fight against COVID-19 and is essential in saving thousands of lives.
“It’s crucial we continue to build on this innovation to transform our health service to ensure the NHS is able to deliver world-class care.
“This is an important step towards making the Whitechapel Life Sciences Cluster a reality. The partnership between Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust offers huge potential for the future to tackle health disparities as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal at Queen Mary University of London, said:
“This is a momentous day in the history of Queen Mary University of London. Throughout our history we have driven to improve the health and educational outcomes for our local communities, and our role in the Whitechapel Life Sciences Cluster is a new chapter in that long story. Our partnership with Barts Health NHS Trust allows us to deliver world-leading research, education, training and skills provision, and life-changing health interventions for one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in the UK.
“The step we have taken today signals one of the largest research investments in Queen Mary’s history and reinforces our continued commitment to the health, wellbeing and economic success of the east London community and to the advancement of world-leading research and education.”
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:
“The partnership between Queen Mary and Barts Health NHS Trust to create a Whitechapel Life Sciences Cluster is a major coup for Tower Hamlets. Not only will our residents benefit from better treatments and health outcomes, but the Cluster will create economic opportunities that will also change lives.
“By establishing Whitechapel as a major centre for the life sciences, the area will attract significant new investment and business opportunities, and importantly provide our young people with the chance to train and develop high quality careers in the life sciences.
“Whitechapel is steeped in history which has made it one of London’s most famous places. We are now creating a new history with major developments including the new Elizabeth Line station, the renovation of the historic Royal London Hospital building into a new town hall and now a world class life sciences hub.”
Dame Alwen Williams, Group Chief Executive at Barts Health NHS Trust, said:
“Congratulations to Queen Mary University of London on this major milestone in the development of the Whitechapel Life Sciences Cluster. I’m proud of the long-standing partnership between Barts Health NHS Trust and the University, with Barts Life Sciences being a perfect illustration of this partnership. By working together, we have blended world-leading research with the ability to create health innovations that will work at scale in the real world. And in turn, we have delivered vital improvements to the health outcomes of our local east London community and, by extension, to communities across the world. The new life sciences facility being developed on this site will help ensure Barts Life Sciences continues to pioneer healthcare innovations from bench to bedside for decades to come.”
Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, Chief Executive of Barts Life Sciences, said:
“This investment by Queen Mary is a major boost to UK Life Sciences, anchoring the entire Whitechapel Cluster with high-calibre scientific expertise and infrastructure. This ensures we can realise, with Barts Health NHS Trust, the benefits for the future health of our community of east London and beyond.”
Amendments submission – September 2023
We have submitted a series of amendments to our existing planning application, following discussions over recent months with planning officers at Tower Hamlets.
We have sent out a newsletter to the local community, updating them on the amendments and the progress of the project.
A summary of the changes we have made is below:
- The Plot A building has been amended to provide more separation from Mount Terrace
- On Plot B, we have redesigned the former Outpatients Department and Annexe, with changes to retain more of the existing façade and set back the upper floors. The Sexual Health Clinic will also be retained in the Ambrose King building.
- Plot C has been reduced in height by one floor, and teaching space has been introduced.
- Building D1 (neighbouring the Royal London Hospital) has been reduced in height by three storeys, and the corners of the buildings have also been adjusted. At ground floor a new colonnade has been introduced, widening the landscaped pedestrian route to the Town Hall. The community space on offer on the ground floor is also being expanded.
The new public space at Plot D2 (between the Royal London Hospital and the QM Whitechapel Library) has been amended to reduce the size of the two pavilions and to provide new public toilets.
In July 2018 the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) purchased five plots of land in Whitechapel from Barts Health NHS Trust to support the development of a life science cluster, building on the shared vision of our local partners at the Royal London Hospital and Queen Mary University London (QMUL).
NHS Property Services Ltd, (NHS PS) is a DHSC-owned company, which exists to support the NHS to get the most from the estate. NHS PS has been instructed to secure planning permission for a flexible development which can be used for a broad range of life science and knowledge-based activity.
To achieve the life sciences vision for the area, secure best value for the land and generate much needed revenue to reinvest back into the NHS, we intend to sell the sites with planning permission for life science buildings to a developer with the required experience to deliver the plans.
This pioneering project will unlock surplus NHS land and unleash investment in innovative life sciences. It will benefit researchers, entrepreneurs and help NHS patients access new diagnostics and treatments more quickly.
Submission of amendments to the planning application.
Planning decision anticipated.
Agree terms and exchange sites to life science developers (subject to planning permission).
Expected delivery of buildings on site.
Our development proposals will bring a number of benefits to the area including:
Local economic and social value
- Breathing new life into a series of out-dated buildings and empty sites in the heart of Whitechapel.
- Could support between 3,470 – 5,660 full time jobs and further training opportunities for local people, that range across the life science sector and beyond
- A further 180 jobs will be created during construction.
- Additional workers could spend between £7-12 million per year in the local area, helping the local economy.
- Occupiers on site will contribute £9m a year in business rates, which will help fund services in the local area.
Improving public spaces and urban routes
- Investment and improvement in the surrounding streets and public spaces and providing green spaces to rest and dwell.
- Reducing and deterring crime and antisocial behaviour with active ground floor providing natural surveillance and improvements to street lighting.
- Highly accessible location, promoting sustainable transport use.
- Improving the setting of the Conservation area and the surrounding listed buildings.
Excellence in life sciences
- A world-leading life sciences cluster
- Attracting, inspiring and retaining the most talented clinicians, researchers and educators.
- Speeding up the development of new research and treatment
- More inclusive research that reduces health inequalities.