Major investment for state-of-the-art Northumberland cancer centre

Proton Partners International chief executive, Mike Moran, centre, with Earth Balance chairman, Alan Rutherford, left, and Northumberland County Council leader, Grant Davey, at the launch event in July last year.
Proton Partners International chief executive, Mike Moran, centre, with Earth Balance chairman, Alan Rutherford, left, and Northumberland County Council leader, Grant Davey, at the launch event in July last year.

Proton Partners International has received £450,000 of investment for its cancer centre in south-east Northumberland.

The investment, from regional growth fund programme, Let’s Grow North East, will help the company to build its first cancer treatment centre in England – at the Earth Balance wellness site in Bomarsund, which is expected to be operational by early 2017.

As previously reported, the centre is the second to be built by Proton Partners in the UK, with the first being in Newport, Wales, and a third planned for West London. The Bomarsund site was granted planning permission in February.

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

Let’s Grow North East is a £60million regional growth fund programme which provides grant support for capital investment and research and development projects that will create new, sustainable jobs in the North East and is aimed towards 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 Let’s Grow 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, said: “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 per cent of patients who receive traditional radiotherapy would be treated more effectively with protons.

“Proton Partners are 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 bring jobs to the area, ranging from administrative roles to top medical positions, and will attract highly-skilled individuals to the North East.

“Also, 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.”

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