Funding confirmed for global first National Centre for Child Health Technology

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard has confirmed the final £6m funding for the new National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT) at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

The centre will develop the world’s most advanced and integrated healthcare system for children and young people.

Funding from South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), which was outlined at a press conference today – 2 February 2023 – will form part of the total capital of £20m to start development of the NCCHT.

It is expected to generate £2.13bn cumulative Gross Value Added to the region over ten years, create 84 jobs within the centre and support a further 5,100 jobs throughout Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Coppard said: “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.”

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is developing the centre in partnership with Sheffield City Council and 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 and the Advanced Rehabilitation Centre, a centre for immersive technologies and robotics.

It will also include a healthy living and prevention centre, a test bed facility for rapid technology assessment in real-word settings, an advanced telecommunications centre and facilities for business growth and knowledge transfer.

The centre will join a 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.

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 NCCHT acts as the turnkey for the next phase of development at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

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, group development director of SGI, said: “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 one 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, chair of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and former Sports Minister, said: “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.”

Councillor Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield City Council, added: “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.”

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