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Harlow Council Leader writes to government over future of £400m public health science campus

26 Aug Harlow Council Leader writes to government over future of £400m public health science campus

The Leader of Harlow Council, Councillor Mark Ingall, has written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, seeking urgent reassurances that the public health science campus will still be built in Harlow.

The letter follows the announcement that Public Health England is being reorganised and comes after recent media reports about the future plans for the campus. Last week the government announced that it was creating the National Institute for Health Protection, which will include Public Health England (PHE) functions.

PHE plan to relocate most of its services to Harlow and create a world-leading campus as its headquarters.

In the letter, Councillor Ingall, says: “We at Harlow Council, and many others, have worked closely with PHE and others and this ambitious programme (PHE Harlow) has been many years in the planning. The site has been purchased and very significant amounts of money spent taking the project this far. We understand that the business case could be just months away from approval by government to allow construction of the campus to begin early next year.

“The Public Health England team have worked and engaged with all sectors of the community over a number of years, to ensure our residents are well informed and feel part of the project and are clear on the benefits the relocation to Harlow will bring.

“I am therefore writing to seek your urgent reassurance that the reorganisation of PHE does not impact in any way the creation of the Harlow campus.”

The letter also makes the case that Harlow remains the right place in the heart of the London-Stansted-Cambridge life sciences corridor for a world-leading public health science campus, which will help the country recover from COVID-19 and respond to future pandemics. Councillor Ingall is calling on Mr Hancock’s support in moving plans for the campus forward and wants to work together to complete the final steps of this project.