Moorfields’ Oriel project takes next step

Derwent London has been selected as the preferred developer for the City Road Island site, the sale of which will support the funding of the new centre

oriel centre

Plans for Moorfield’s new Oriel centre have progressed following the appointment of a preferred developer for the City Road site and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology’s Bath Street site.

Derwent London plc has been selected as the preferred developer for the site, known as ‘City Road Island,’ and will work with Islington Council to redevelop the site.

The City Road Island is set to be sold – subject to planning – with funds reinvested in the new Oriel centre.

Oriel, a joint initiative of the eye hospital, Moorfields Eye Charity, and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, will be a new centre for eye care, research and education.

Moorfields services will move to the integrated centre in St Pancras, which is expected to enable “closer collaboration” between clinicians and researchers, “to speed up the delivery of treatments and therapies for patients.”

In the summer this year, Camden Council approved planning permission for the Oriel project.

Martin Kuper, chief executive at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, described the sale of City Road Island as an “essential part” of the Oriel funding strategy: “All proceeds will be reinvested in the new centre to secure the long-term future of world-leading eye care, research and education in a way that represents value for money.”

Arrangements will be made to ensure a smooth transition from the existing sites to the new location.

Kuper continued: “We know that staff and patients have a very strong attachment to Moorfields at City Road, formed over many years, and will work with them to make sure that we do justice to honouring its legacy when we move to St Pancras.”

In addition to working with Islington Council, Derwent London will engage the local community in the redevelopment of the City Road Island site. Redevelopment proposals were considered to ensure the plans contribute to the socio-economic benefits of local residents and businesses.

Earlier this month, UCL Council provided conditional approval for the new facility. The decision allows for the allocation of £44.5m of UCL funding towards Oriel, on the condition of securing additional sources of funding.

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, called the move a “great achievement, and the next step in developing a transformative centre for advanced eye health.”