Rother Valley MP Sir Kevin Barron attended a British Heart Foundation event calling on the next government to guarantee the future of the science budget to protect life saving research.
Sir Kevin joined heart patient eight-year-old Emily Sullivan for a science lesson to highlight the importance of charities being able to continue funding medical research. Emily has had three open heart surgeries after being born with three large holes in her heart, a condition that more and more people are surviving because of BHF research.
Medical research charities, like the BHF, rely on government investment to pay for the indirect costs of research, such as lighting, electricity and heating for laboratories. Without government support, the BHF’s ability to fund research to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease would be significantly reduced.
Sir Kevin said: “Charities are an essential part of the UK medical research environment and the science budget is vital to supporting their research.”
“By funding the day-to-day running of science facilities, the next government will ensure that researchers can concentrate on finding the next life saving cure. If we are to prevent and treat devastating conditions like cardiovascular disease, we need continued investment in pioneering research.”
For every £1 charities spend directly on medical research, the Government pays 26p to help fund the indirect costs. The BHF is calling on the next government to maintain the current ring-fencing of the science budget and to commit to future increases.
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF, said: “If the UK is to maintain its strong position in biomedical research, the next government must guarantee the future of the science budget. Every research grant we fund is underpinned by government investment in universities. This fund is a vital partnership between government, charity and universities and any cut to it would damaging to our lifesaving research and the fight against heart disease.”