The Oriel programme, through UCL’s Office of the Vice-President (Advancement)’s philanthropy team, has received a generous donation of £5 million from the Wolfson Foundation, an independent grant-making charity that supports projects across the UK.

The funding will be used to create a dedicated innovation space at the heart of the new building to foster close collaboration between different scientific teams.

Construction of the new centre in Camden starts this year ahead of a planned opening in 2027. For the first time researchers and clinicians from Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology will work together under one roof enabling them to collaborate and develop treatments and therapies more quickly.

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive, Wolfson Foundation

Paul Ramsbottom, Wolfson Foundation chief executive, outlines what this closer collaboration means: “The longstanding partnership between UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital has created significant improvements in healthcare for eye patients not just in the UK, but throughout the world. By bringing clinicians and researchers together at Oriel, we believe the two institutions will create the ideal platform to generate further breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of eye disease. We are delighted to be funding a dedicated innovation space at the heart of the new building, designed to foster close collaboration between different teams of scientists.”

Dr Michael Spence, UCL president and provost

UCL president and provost Dr Michael Spence said: “Our researchers at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, in partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital and Moorfields Eye Charity, have been at the forefront of new eye health developments both nationally and internationally, from the first 3D-printed prosthetic eye to gene and stem cell-based therapy which has restored sight lost to eye disease.”