Funding for North East cancer centre


Proton Partners secures £450,000 investment from regional growth fund

Proton Partners International has received £450,000 from regional growth fund programme, Let’s Grow North East, for its Northumberland cancer centre.

The investment will help the company, which is bringing proton beam therapy to the UK, to build its first cancer treatment centre in England.

The centre will be situated at the Earth Balance wellness site in Bomarsund, Northumberland, and is expected to be operational by early 2017.

It is the second to be built by Proton Partners in the UK - the first recently opened in Newport, Wales, and the third will be in west London.

Each centre will be able to treat up to 500 patients every year and will provide imaging, chemotherapy and traditional radiotherapy.

Let’s Grow North East is a £60m regional growth fund programme operated by business services company, BE Group, and Newcastle accountancy firm, UNW LLP, in partnership with the Newcastle Journal and Middlesbrough Evening Gazette. It provides grant support for capital investment and research and development projects that will create new, sustainable jobs in the North East and is aimed at manufacturing businesses and service sector businesses offering more than a local service.

Andrew Frost, Let’s Grow project adviser at the BE Group, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Proton Partners International in creating this new state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre in Northumberland.

“The grant of £450,000 was instrumental in the company deciding to invest here in the North East as opposed to overseas and, as well as establishing this new prestigious facility, the investment will also result in the creation of 22 highly-skilled jobs and 10 support staff.”

Mike Moran, chief executive officer of Proton Partners International, added: “The demand for proton beam therapy is on the rise. However, patients who currently require this treatment must travel abroad or endure alternative treatment regimes.

“There is a pressing need to bring this type of treatment to the UK as studies have shown that at least 10% of patients who receive traditional radiotherapy would be treated more effectively with protons.

“Proton Partners is in the process of building three centres across the country, and our Northumberland centre will make proton beam therapy accessible to patients from the North of England and Scotland.

“Throughout the build we will subcontract locally where possible to ensure that we maximise the local infrastructure available.

“Our centre will also bring jobs to the area, ranging from administrative roles to top medical positions, and will attract highly-skilled individuals to the North East. In addition, as the centre will not be residential, patients and their families will require access to local infrastructure when undergoing treatment – benefitting the wider community as a whole.”

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All three Proton Partners centres will treat NHS patients, medically-insured private patients, and self-paying patients.