Topping out for new Medical School building

On Monday 9 December a topping out ceremony marked an important milestone for the new Kent and Medway Medical School building (KMMS) at the University’s Canterbury campus.

L-R Prof Rama Thirunamachandran, Prof Chris Holland, Prof Karen Cox

The building, which is due to open in July 2020, will provide students with an inspirational learning and study environment containing a 150-seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms, IT suites, social spaces and a GP simulation suite.

KMMS is a collaboration between the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University. It will offer first-class medical education and research, combining the existing high-quality clinical teaching and research strengths of the two universities. From 2020, it will offer a five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (BM BS) degree with medical placements in Primary, Community, Mental Health and Secondary Care settings across Kent and Medway. Based at the universities’ Canterbury campuses, is Kent and Medway‘s first medical school and aims to be first choice for all those aspiring to achieve excellence in person-centred medical care in the UK. In October, it received more than 1500 applications for its 100 places.

Among those attending the topping out ceremony were Kent’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Karen Cox, Christ Church’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, and Professor Chris Holland, Founding Dean of KMMS.

Professor Cox provided the welcome and thanked all those who have been involved with KMMS since it was announced by the government in March 2018. This included the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and Medway and Canterbury councils, among others. She also thanked construction company Willmott Dixon for their work on the building so far.

Adam Worrall, Operations Director from Willmott Dixon, provided an update on the building’s development and sustainability, as well as offering his thanks and appreciation to all those involved with the project. These included Hazel McCormack Young ArchitectsWestec EngineeringLyons O’Neil and the University of Kent’s Estates team.

Other guests included: Colin Carmichael, CEO Canterbury City Council; Christian Brodie, Chair of the South East LEP; Susan Acott, CEO, East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust; Dr Afifa Qazi, Executive Medical Director, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust; Graham Gibbens, Kent County Council, Robert Thomas, Leader of Canterbury City Council, and Richard Collins, Chair of the Foundation Campaign Board