The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) marked the start of its “northern adventure” last night (10 October).
The organisation officially opened the ‘Phase 1’ interim base of RCP North in Liverpool as it develops a presence outside of London.
Set within the University of Liverpool’s William Henry Duncan Building, the space has been adapted to provide facilities for examinations and educational purposes alongside other activities.
The president of the RCP, Professor Jane Dacre (pictured), was joined by fellow members and representatives of the royal college to launch its base in the city.
During the special event, Professor Dacre said: “Tonight I’m officially opening the first phase of our northern adventure.”
As the RCP prepares to celebrate its 500th birthday in 2018, she added: “We are hugely grateful for Liverpool’s support and encouragement and we’re hoping our partnership will last for at least the next 500 years.”
RCP North is set to be an anchor tenant of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool’s Paddington Village district, where a new ‘iconic’ permanent home is set to be developed for the organisation. The new building is expected to open in 2020.
Attendees at last night’s opening were also addressed by University of Liverpool vice-chancellor Professor Janet Beer, who praised the city’s collaborative work to bring RCP North to Liverpool.
She said: “We were thrilled when the announcement came that RCP North would be in Liverpool and I think we did demonstrate that we really, truly worked in a joined up way.”
Professor Beer added that “the new opportunity to work with the RCP and its members will further enhance” the University of Liverpool’s position and its strength in areas including medicine and the treatment of infections.
Meanwhile Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy also welcomed RCP North to Liverpool during the event and Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of Liverpool Health Partners, provided a video message describing the opening as “a memorable evening, not just for Liverpool but the whole of the north of England and the RCP”.
Sir Gilmore added that it is “particularly important” for the decision to establish a northern presence for the RCP to have come from a London-based president, and that it “fits well” with the Northern Powerhouse initiative.
He went on to say: “I hope people will be looking back on it in a hundred years’ time as the most important thing the RCP did in the 21st Century.”