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Philanthropy helps open new Bristol Brain Centre

Opening of Bristol Brain Centre

Opening of Bristol Brain Centre

Opening of Bristol Brain Centre

10 December 2015

On Wednesday 25 November, thanks to significant philanthropic donations, a new medical facility, bringing together expertise from North Bristol NHS Trust and the University of Bristol, opened at Southmead Hospital.

The Bristol Brain Centre is the first of its kind in the country to bring together research teams in the areas of multiple sclerosis, dementia and movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s. Working together this way will not only help researchers deliver new treatments faster, but will also mean thousands of patients benefit from cutting-edge care from experts specialising in a range of different conditions.

John Thatcher, a Parkinson’s patient, said at the opening: 'The new facilities are marvellous, and they make coming for treatment a much more comfortable experience. The team works tirelessly here, and because I am taking part in a nine-month clinical trial, I feel part of the team, too. Today, someone asked me how I felt – I just smiled.' 

Neil Scolding, Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at North Bristol NHS Trust and the University of Bristol, said: 'This is a fantastic facility, in which clinical research teams from across Bristol are leading the way in finding ways to combat a number of truly debilitating neurological diseases. Thank you for the support from members of the public, the University and BRACE, without which we wouldn’t be here today.'

Alumni and friends of the University contributed £4​3​5,000 to the cost of the £7.5m building, adding to significant donations from charities BRACE (£600,000) BrAMS (£450,000) and the Parkinson’s Research Group (£50,000).

North Bristol NHS Trust had pledged to make Elgar House, the site of the centre, available free of charge – an investment equal to £1.5m and a further £3m over the next ten years – provided an additional £1.5m​ could be raised​ in donations to refurbish the laboratories.

In his speech at the opening, Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President, said: 'Neuroscience is a fascinating area of medical inquiry, and so much progress has been made in various fields in just over a decade, with many contributions from Bristol scientists. The Bristol Brain Centre embodies the ultimate aim of medical research: translating research into life-saving and life-changing solutions for patients. This collaboration between our University and NHS colleagues has all my support. A special thank you to all who have backed this important venture.'

Further information

Find out more about the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences