The University of Cumbria and Imperial College London have announced plans for a new medical school in Carlisle.
The university partners hope the new graduate-entry training facility will be operational by 2025, providing a vital supply of doctors for Cumbria and northwest England, regions where recruitment and retention have remained stubborn challenges.
The new school will deliver a “specifically designed” course for generalist doctors to meet the needs of the local region, particularly the rural and disadvantaged populations of the Borderlands, Lake District and North Pennines, “where health and social inequalities are well documented”.
The new medical school will lead a range of collaborative programmes between researchers in northwest England and London.
The plans follow the recent announcement that the University of Cumbria has sought planning permission for its “landmark” Citadels campus, a new Carlisle city-centre campus.
University of Cumbria vice-chancellor Prof Julie Mennell said: “The University of Cumbria was established to play a significant role in increasing higher education participation and addressing the higher-level education and skills needs of Cumbria and the region. This continues to drive us.”
Prof Alice Gast, president of Imperial College London, said: “Our shared vision is to also develop a range of local research programmes in these demographically different areas.”
Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said the medical school would support the government’s ambition to increase medical school places: since 2017, five new medical schools have opened, including in Chelmsford, Ormskirk, Lincoln, and Sunderland. Worcester University‘s Three Counties Medical School is to open later this year.