NIHR awards £161 million to fund 28 clinical research facilities across England

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has awarded £161 million to fund 28 NIHR Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) nationally, which will expand the delivery of early phase clinical research in NHS hospitals across England.

The funding for CRFs, which has increased by £49 million since the last round of funding, is part of NIHR’s aim to increase their work with the life sciences industry.

The CRFs are designed to support the delivery of experimental medicine research – from studies on new treatments for patients through to early safety and efficacy trials – as well as to support trials in disease detection and prevention.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “NIHR’s CRFs scheme has been a key force in translational research across England, helping to position the nation as internationally competitive in early-stage clinical research. 

“This new funding, a 43% increase, will allow the CRFs to continue to drive forward innovation in experimental medicine and support translation of exciting discoveries into new treatments for patients.”  

Minister for Innovation, Lord Kamall, said: “Clinical research has been vital in our fight against COVID-19 and in saving thousands of lives – whether through the rapid creation of vaccines or the identification of life-saving treatments like dexamethasone. Funding more CRFs across the country means we can continue to build on this innovation to transform our health service and ensure the NHS is able to deliver world-class care.”

Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “I am delighted to hear the fantastic news from the NIHR about the award of £8.7million funding to the Leeds NIHR CRF. This is a huge achievement and credit to the NIHR CRF team at the Trust. The increase in funding will support transformative work at the CRF for experimental medicine trials to take place across Leeds, enhance our partnerships with the life sciences industry and further supports the development of an Innovation District with other partners in the city.”

The CRFSs will run from 2022-2027.