A new £5 million centre in the UK is to spearhead research on the deadly asbestos cancer mesothelioma. The initiative was included in Chancellor George Osborne’s March 2016 budget.
The full budget document notes that banking fines would be used to provide funds “to support military charities and other good causes”, including: “National Mesothelioma Centre £5 million – to establish a centre of research in the fight against mesothelioma, which is directly affecting Service Veterans.”
Chris Knighton, 69, who has dedicated her life to campaigning to help those affected by the deadly condition since her husband Mick died from the asbestos-related cancer in 2001, welcomed the move.
Chris, who set up the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund, said: “I’m delighted the government has allocated £5m to establish a Mesothelioma Centre for Research. Mesothelioma has been underfunded for decades and its fantastic the government has now recognised it’s one of the most challenging of cancers; as it’s only through high calibre research can we ever improve diagnosis, treatment and care for those affected by this devastating disease.”
Dave Anderson, the Labour MP for Blaydon, said: “This is welcome although I am only giving it two cheers because the funding is one-off and should be annual so that mesothelioma research is put on a par with other comparable cancers. But from acorns come oaks and pressure will continue to do the right thing.”
Initial reports say the national centre is set to be based at Imperial College, London, although asbestos victims’ groups and mesothelioma researchers have called for a more extensive discussion of how the funds are allocated.