St Mary's Medical School Building
On 25 July 2019 the College announced its intention to sell the Medical School Building at the St Mary’s Campus. On 8 June 2020 it was confirmed that a sale had been agreed.
The Imperial President, Provost, and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine have a shared vision for Medicine at Imperial: to attract the world’s brightest academics and teach the world’s most able students in modern, advanced technical and physical environments.
Central to this vision is the opportunity to capitalise upon the critical mass of scientific and clinical academic expertise that is growing around the Hammersmith/White City Campus in West London and to improve the learning and research environments for the whole Faculty of Medicine community.
The sale generates proceeds that will be used in ways that will benefit students and staff and help create the next chapter in the rich history of Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine. It will enable the creation of world leading facilities for medical research and education and increase the proximity of medical academics to their colleagues in complementary disciplines. It will increase collaboration and help fulfil the vision of the Faculty of Medicine to build upon and enhance its reputation as an international powerhouse in medical research and education.
Why has the College sold the St Mary’s Medical School Building?
The College’s vision for Medicine centres on the opportunity to capitalise upon the critical mass of scientific and clinical academic expertise that is growing around the Hammersmith/White City Campus in West London and to improve the learning and research environments for the whole Faculty of Medicine community.
The current building has physical limitations that significantly restrict the ability to transform the space into a modern, world-class research and teaching facility. The sale will benefit staff by providing them with better facilities for their research and improving their proximity to colleagues in medicine and collaborative disciplines at the Hammersmith/White City Campus, as well as at South Kensington. This will enhance collaboration and multidisciplinary opportunities.
Are the proceeds being reinvested in the Faculty of Medicine?
Yes, the net proceeds of the sale are being used by the College to help the Faculty of Medicine to deliver its vision and benefit students and staff.
How long will the process take?
We expect the project overall to take around five years (from summer 2019), providing time for a thoughtful transition that will be developed in consultation with students, staff, alumni and other important stakeholders.
What will happen to the people who currently work in the Medical School Building at St Mary’s?
Around 400 members of academic and administrative staff and 200 postgraduate students are based in the building. Other staff and students, including undergraduates, also use the building for research and teaching purposes. The College has been working with staff and students since Autumn 2019 to collaboratively discuss plans to improve existing facilities and invest in new ones across our West London campuses.
Will the College still have a presence at St Mary’s Hospital?
St Mary’s Hospital will remain an important centre for delivering clinical undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research. The College has a significant presence in other parts of the St Mary’s Campus and is working with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on the full redevelopment of the site to ensure we have the right education and research facilities to support excellent care, learning and innovation for the future.
Is this part of the Faculty’s academic reorganisation project?
No. This is a separate matter from the Faculty reorganisation which took place in 2019, although clearly both are components of delivering the wider vision for medicine to provide the best proximity, working environment and synergies.
What does Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust think about the changes?
The Trust has been kept informed of our evolving vision and recent changes. Trust chief executive Professor Tim Orchard said: “Our collaboration is more important than ever and we are committed to ensuring education and research is embedded in all of our facilities and ways of working. We will continue to liaise closely with the College on our respective estates redevelopment ambitions.”
How will facilities, like the gym, pool and library be re-provisioned?
In the short to medium term, there will be investment to enhance teaching, studying and recreational spaces for students and staff, beginning with our School of Medicine facilities at our Charing Cross Campus.
We know how important physical activity is to physical and mental wellbeing and are committed to providing student access to gym and swimming pool facilities in close proximity to the Charing Cross Campus, on Ethos Membership terms. We will be working with our students to ensure the best possible provision for our community. Students can contact Trish Brown, Head of School of Medicine Secretariat, for further information.
How will the history of St Mary’s be safeguarded? What will happen to historical artefacts held at the site?
There are on-going plans to work with Imperial’s medical students to create three ‘houses’ within the School of Medicine – called St Mary’s, Westminster, and Charing Cross – specifically to recognise and maintain the importance of the medical school history and where it has come from.
The aim is that all the artefacts in the Medical School Building, such as the Sir Roger Bannister stopwatch, will be removed and relocated in an appropriate way in other facilities. The history and culture of the Faculty and School of Medicine is just as important to the reputation of Imperial’s medical faculty as the future. Imperial places importance on protecting and preserving its history – for example the recent relocation of the Royal College of Chemistry foundation stone to the new chemistry building in White City.
Is Sir Alexander Fleming’s laboratory located in the building that is being sold?
No. The Fleming Museum (including Sir Alexander’s laboratory) is not located in the St Mary’s Medical School Building. It is located in a different building at the St Mary’s site (the Clarence Wing).
For more information on Sir Alexander Fleming’s laboratory, please visit the Fleming Museum webpage (external link).