Thames Valley Science Park (TVSP) has said the loss of the Rutherford Cancer Centre will not affect the wider operation of the park.

Rutherford Health announced on Monday, June 6 it will apply to go into liquidation and an application is about to be made imminently to appoint the Official Receiver as liquidator of the business which was formed in 2015.

It opened its 33,500 sq ft site at Reading University-owned TVSP in Shinfield in 2018, offering cutting edge proton beam therapy for cancer patients.

However, the Covid pandemic and a lack of patients during lockdown saw revenues tumble. It is not known what the future of the building or the equipment is once the firm has been liquidated.

A spokesperson for TVSP Ltd said: “We are sad to learn that Rutherford Health may be placed into liquidation.

“We have had a good working relationship with Rutherford Cancer Centre, the tenant at Thames Valley Science Park, and we will engage constructively as required as the insolvency process progresses.

“We understand that there are no issues for patients, which is very positive.

“The Rutherford Centre occupy a self-contained building within the park which provides for around 3,100 sq m of clinical space across the ground, first and second floors.

“While it would be a great shame to lose Rutherford as a tenant, this will not affect the wider operation of the park and we will consider the future use of this building in due course.”

As well as the TVSP site, the group had opened centres in Newport, Northumberland and Liverpool, a community diagnostics centre in Somerset and held a consultations service at Newport and Harley Street in London.

An offer of a national not-for-profit contract with the NHS was turned down and existing NHS patients who came through local contracts are being returned to the NHS trusts to complete treatment.

The company had invested heavily in services for cancer treatment including high energy proton beam therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, diagnostic imaging and supportive care services.

Sean Sullivan, chief restructuring officer and interim chief executive, said: “Rutherford Health has been committed to providing high quality care, and the past couple of years has proven to be an extremely challenging time for the business.

“Covid has been particularly damaging for us as fewer patients were presenting with side effects during the lockdowns, and as a result cancer diagnosis has been delayed and sadly, in many cases, missed. This has meant fewer cancer patients have been presenting to our centres.

“Added to that, the business had grown rapidly over recent years. It was a very expensive business to set up, with over £240 million of capital expenditure to build and develop the cancer centres across the country, however, unfortunately patient numbers have not matched that.

“We made several offers to the NHS, and whilst we secured some contracts they were insufficient and we have not been able to secure mechanisms to expedite the process. This added to severe financial pressures on the business and we had no option other than to place the group into liquidation.

“We are very proud to have been able to serve the community and cancer patients across the country.”

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