Anyone listening to the Today Programme on Radio 4 this morning would have been forgiven for concluding that bio-medical and life sciences research activity in the UK can only thrive in any meaningful way south of the Watford Gap.
The development of the Francis Crick Institute (affectionately known as “the Crick”) was heralded as part of the establishment of something known as “Med City”, a golden triangle of world leading life sciences research and commercial centres with London, Oxford and Cambridge forming the three nodes.
Sir Paul Nurse and Boris Johnson cheer-led for the concept and the debate focused more on how difficult it would be to travel between the three centres (as compared with the role model of Boston). Other than a very brief nod at the work of Newcastle University, the rest of the country may as well have been entirely devoid of any cutting edge scientific development at all.
We were waiting with bated breath for Manchester’s Airport City/ MSP/ Science Corridor development to be brought into the discussion. Where the London Med City concept is riddled with transport and communication difficulties, Manchester boasts intricate connectivity, within an between Manchester and the North West, with all other principal destinations in the UK and with a global audience and market place.
Looks like we need to keep on shouting the message loud and clear – have a look at the MSP website here too, for more: