London Borough of Sutton selects Aviva and Socius to deliver world leading cancer and research district

22 Jan 2024

The London Borough of Sutton has confirmed the selection of insurer Aviva and developer Socius as partners to advance the development of the world’s leading district for cancer research and treatment at the London Cancer Hub (LCH) in Sutton, London. 

The landmark investment includes the long lease sale for development by Aviva and Socius of a five-hectare site adjacent to the renowned Royal Marsden hospital and globally recognised Institute for Cancer Research. The partnership will deliver one million square feet of research, treatment and innovation spaces alongside residential accommodation and amenities for local people and visitors. It will be one of London’s most significant regeneration projects and once completed will make Sutton, and the capital, home to the world’s largest cancer life science district.

The site, known as the London Cancer Hub, is already ranked number one in Europe for cancer research and treatment. In addition to the Institute for Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, it is home to the cancer care support provider Maggie’s, the Harris Academy and the Council’s own Innovation Gateway, that provides start-ups working in areas related to cancer with high-quality laboratory, office and collaboration space.

The new development will deliver major social and economic benefits for the UK, contributing circa £1.2bn to the UK economy and £12 million increase in business rates. 13,000 jobs in health, science, education and construction will be created as part of the project, as well as space for start-up, growing and established businesses.

Aviva and Socius have commenced community and stakeholder engagement with a view to submitting a planning application in late 2024.

Councillor Ruth Dombey OBE, Leader of the London Borough of Sutton, said:
“This announcement shows the scale of our ambition and our determination to put Sutton on
the map. The Council has secured highly credible partners and after much work it will
position Sutton as a global centre of science excellence.

“The Hub will bring huge opportunities to Sutton, London and the rest of the UK through the
creation of thousands of new jobs, education opportunities and space for new cancer
research. It will attract investment and make Sutton a destination as home to an
internationally-recognised centre for the treatment and cure of cancer, discovering new
drugs and, most importantly, saving lives.

Charlotte Jones, Aviva’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “Aviva is investing significantly in critical areas of the UK economy such as housing, green energy and healthcare. We are using our capital to generate long term income for our customers and help the UK to grow. The London Cancer Hub will provide world-class cancer research and bolster the UK’s ambition to be a leader in the Life Sciences sector.”

Professor Paul Workman, Harrap Professor of Cancer Pharmacology and Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “We’re confident that new commercial space here at The London Cancer Hub will deliver great benefits – by encouraging innovative collaborations between academics, clinicians, and industry, by facilitating the kinds of breakthroughs that can only come from working across scientific and organisational boundaries, and by providing the new treatments for people with cancer that are so urgently needed.”

Dame Cally Palmer, Chief Executive of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are privileged to have an exciting blend of scientific and clinical expertise at Sutton that consistently translates innovative ideas in drug discovery from the laboratory to the clinical setting for the benefit of cancer patients worldwide. The London Borough of Sutton’s vision for The London Cancer Hub and invitation to biotech industry to move into commercial space onsite will strengthen our flourishing research community and create new opportunities for us to collaborate on developing cancer treatments for the future.”

Gillian Norton, Chairman, St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group, said: “We look forward to contributing to the plans for the London Cancer Hub development, alongside the planned Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, and are committed to ensuring that the site becomes a vibrant, sustainable and innovative centre for health and life sciences.”

Notes to editors 

About the London Cancer Hub: 

  • For more information please email 
  • The London Cancer Hub, based in the London Borough of Sutton, is Europe’s leading life-science district, specialising in cancer research, treatment, and enterprise. As Sutton’s flagship regeneration scheme, The London Cancer Hub will bring major investment and high quality jobs to the borough. 
  • The London Cancer Hub Partnership was created in 2013 between the London Borough of Sutton and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), supported by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the Greater London Authority, the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Harris Academy. 

About Aviva:

  • We are the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement business and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in India and China.
  • We help our 18.7 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right.
  • We have been taking care of people for more than 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2022, we paid £23.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
  • In 2021, we announced our ambition to become Net Zero by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. We are aiming to have a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. While we are working towards our sustainability ambitions, we acknowledge that we have relationships with businesses and existing assets that may be associated with significant emissions. Find out more about our climate goals at and our sustainability ambition and action at
  • Aviva is a Living Wage, Living Pension and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at
  • As at 30 June 2023, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group were £358 billion and our estimated Solvency II shareholder capital surplus as at 30 September 2023 was £7.6 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
  • For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit  
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About Socius:

  • Socius is a developer of mixed-use places. We anticipate the socio-economic trends that impact how we live, work and travel. We use this as the catalyst to create and reshape places.
  • Socius have been operating as a B Corporation since our inception to ensure that our whole team (including professional teams) prioritise a triple bottom line approach and are taking into consideration all stakeholders in decisions that we make. 
  • Socius has a £1.5bn pipeline of projects including a mixed-use neighbourhood and a work/live campus in Cambridge city centre; the redevelopment of the former AMEX House in Brighton; the £215m regeneration of Soapworks in central Bristol, and MK Gateway, a future-focused development of workspace and homes in the centre of Milton Keynes.