Cancer Research UK’s Create the Change campaign has raised £34m in just over 18 months to finance what will be the largest biomedical research building in Europe.
The campaign, launched in November 2011, is the largest capital appeal the charity has run. It has a target of £100m to finance the Francis Crick Institute in King’s Cross, London.
A topping-out ceremony was held at the site today to mark the end of construction work. Due to open in 2015, the institute will use the combined skills of scientists working on cancer and all major diseases to get new discoveries to patients as quickly as possible.
Donations have so far come from a range of major philanthropists and trusts. The charity received its largest one-off donation ever for the campaign, of £10m – it came in July last year from a donor who wished to remain anonymous.
Other major gifts to the campaign include £3m from the Wolfson Foundation.
The project is a partnership between the UK’s three largest funders of biomedical research – the Medical Research Council, CRUK and the Wellcome Trust – and three universities: UCL, Imperial College and King’s College London.
Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of CRUK, said: "The Crick will be game-changing for medical research.
"Millions of people – including cancer patients, but also those suffering from a range of diseases such as heart and neurodegenerative disease – will benefit from its pioneering approaches.
"The Crick is also a unique opportunity for people to invest in one of the most exciting catalysts of scientific innovation we’ll see in this generation."