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Launch event marks multi-million-pound investment into research across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria to help improve lives


The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, officially opened a successful launch event to celebrate the multi-million-pound funding boost for the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF).

More than £74 million has been awarded by the NIHR to Manchester BRC and Manchester CRF to improve people’s lives and reduce health inequalities through translational and cutting-edge research. The funding now means that Manchester BRC can increase research capacity by expanding its partnership to include five NHS Trusts; Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust.

The five-year award also allows Manchester BRC to further expand its research themes, within the areas of cancer (prevention and early detection, radiotherapy, personalising cancer medicines and living with and beyond cancer) inflammation (arthritis and related conditions, chest diseases, skin disorders and heart disease) high burden under researched conditions (hearing health, mental health and rare conditions) and disease complexity (new ways to diagnose illnesses and developing new treatments).


Manchester BRC received a £59.1 million award from the NIHR for 2022-27 – the largest single research award given by the NIHR to the city region and more than double the previous award – to translate scientific discoveries into new treatments, diagnostic tests, and medical technologies to improve patients’ lives in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria.

To mark this new round of funding, the official launch of the Manchester BRC and Manchester CRF 2022-27 was held at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester in March. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, officially opened the event, followed by key speakers Professor Ian Bruce (Director of NIHR Manchester BRC), Professor Jacky Smith (Director of NIHR Manchester CRF), Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell (President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester), Professor Jane Eddleston, Group Joint Medical Director at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust), Professor Dermot Kelleher (Chair of the NIHR Manchester BRC International Scientific Advisory Board), and Nazir Afzal OBE (Chancellor of The University of Manchester).

Professor Ian Bruce, Director of NIHR Manchester BRC, said: “We have had an incredible journey over the last 10 to 12 years, growing from a single speciality Biomedical Research Unit, to where we are today – the largest BRC outside the South East of England. This success has only been achieved thanks to a monumental team effort. We have been able to bring together many more world-leading researchers, increase our research themes and expand our geographical reach across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria. This will enable us to make real advances towards improving patients’ lives and reducing health inequalities.”

The event was attended by academic and clinical research delivery and operational staff from Manchester BRC, Manchester CRF and The University of Manchester, colleagues from partner Trusts, industry associates and Greater Manchester dignitaries.


Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This is a hugely significant milestone in the building of a 21st century research-based economy in Greater Manchester. I am pleased to see the broad areas of research being focussed on, which includes mental health. We have a new reality when it comes to the health of the nation post-pandemic, and cutting-edge research will enable us to understand what it takes to build a healthier population. If we can make our research ever more relevant to the times we live in and the health challenges we face, then we will continue to build that success story right here in Greater Manchester.”

Watch the video below to find out more about Manchester BRC and its vision for driving forward health improvements and lasting change for all through creative, inclusive and proactive research:

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