Image Credit: Des Blenkinsopp

New postgraduate medical college to be built in Warneford Park

A postgraduate medical college is set to be built in Warneford Park, adjacent to South Park in Headington, as part of its redevelopment plans.

Through collaboration amongst the University, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, and philanthropic developer Ian Laing, Warneford Park will be transformed into a brain health sciences campus. Existing Warneford site buildings will be repurposed into a new postgraduate college to support multidisciplinary academic and clinical research. 

The Warneford site currently hosts the University’s Department of Psychiatry and the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity. Redeveloping the site includes replacing the 200-year-old Warneford Hospital with one equipped for modern medicine and technology, as well as building the new University college in addition to academic and commercial research laboratories.

Full approval for the redevelopment project has not yet been granted. A Conditional Option Agreement (COA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) have been signed by the collaborating stakeholders as of the 8th of January.

According to the Scoping Opinion submitted to Oxford City Council, the development scheme is divided into two phases. The first focuses on the construction of the new hospital and research facilities, while the second involves the new postgraduate college and accommodation.

Construction of the new college and student accommodation is scheduled to begin in 2027 and be completed within two years. While many buildings will be demolished, the new hub for research and clinical care will remain sensitive to Warneford’s cultural heritage and historic setting.  

The Headington site is anticipated to become a leading provider of mental health care both across Oxfordshire and the NHS, as well as a producer of world-class research and innovation. The establishment of the new college aims to support clinicians and researchers. 

Warneford Park has been carefully considered and examined as the location for the new University college. Located near scientific institutions such as the Big Data Institute, the transformation of Warneford presents an opportunity to foster a multidisciplinary academic environment, coordinate research efforts, and provide clinical care. 

Creation of the new brain sciences hub likewise marks a turning point in historically low investment in clinical brain research.

Redevelopment plans are still underway.

Image credit: Des Blenkinsopp

Image description: a building of the Warneford Hospital