IN an age when barbers dabbled with surgery and dentistry, Henry VIII set up the Royal College of Physicians.
It was seen as a way of controlling the science and practice of medicine.
The founding of the college in 1521 came more than 70 years after the Barber-Surgeons' Guild had been established in Ireland, the first institution of its kind in the British Isles.
It’s taken almost 500 years, but the RCP is spreading its wings, by opening its first outpost in Liverpool.
The city has been chosen as the home of the new Northern headquarters for what is one of the world’s most renowned medical institutions.
It seems Manchester and Leeds were also in the running for the medical gig, but Liverpool won the race.
The RCP North will open at the beginning of 2017, opposite the new Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city’s Knowledge Quarter Mayoral Development Zone.
The RCP will become the first anchor tenant of the Mayor of Liverpool’s £1bn flagship scheme to establish a world leading medical and scientific research hub that will create an estimated 10,000 new highly skilled jobs.
"In a deal hailed as reminiscent of the beginnings of the game-changing Liverpool ONE retail development, the arrival of the RCP will signal the start of phase 1 of a 10 year development site, encompassing 1.8m sq ft, facing the newly rebuilt Royal Hospital," says Liverpool City Council.
The RCP will establish its Northern Centre of Clinical Excellence in a two phase move, eventually taking 70,000 sq ft of Grade A commercial space in a purpose built facility in 2020. The new centre will focus on medical training, examination, conferencing, quality improvement and research and is set to create 100 new jobs.
The Knowledge Quarter expansion site spans 11 acres, currently called Paddington Place, and is earmarked to host a new train station to connect it to the Merseyrail network.
Speaking on behalf of the Knowledge Quarter, CEO Colin Sinclair, said: “Our success in this bid proves the benefit of collaboration across the city regions and in this instance between the City, the University of Liverpool, The Royal and Broadgreen NHS Trust, The School of Tropical Medicine and Liverpool John Moores University. This proves that Liverpool can compete at the highest level for major inward investment projects.
‘’As part of a two-phase move The RCP will initially be located at The William Duncan Building on the Universities’ Life Sciences campus, opposite the new Royal, before moving to a purpose built facility on the adjacent Paddington Place development, by 2020.”
Professor Jane Dacre, president of the RCP, said: “This is a major advance for both the RCP and the promotion of clinical excellence and services in the UK and internationally. RCP North will significantly enhance our ability to provide more medical training, examinations, quality improvement and research for doctors, healthcare professionals in the UK and internationally.
“We are excited at the potential of this city partnership, which animates our strategic commitment to be regionally present and relevant, demonstrating modernity to the membership and fellowship of the RCP, and changing the perception that the College is London-centric.
Mayor Anderson said: “This development site is an investment opportunity of international importance and will reposition Liverpool and the North in the life sciences industry. It will also unlock a new commercial market with immense spin off benefits in terms of high quality jobs and housing that will ripple right across the Liverpool city region.
‘’Liverpool has a proud history as a pioneer in the health sector and this deal will further cement the city’s growing reputation as a world leading city in 21st century medicine.”