ION-DRI Programme


Working with our neighbours

We are working closely with our neighbours, residents and local community to create a welcoming environment for patients, visitors, workers and residents to enjoy

As part of our commitment to supporting the local community, we have a programme of public engagement in place, including:

  • A public art programme
  • Apprenticeships
  • Work experience placements and mentoring schemes for local schools and colleges
  • An outreach programme and educational online resources
  • Support for community use of facilities like the auditorium

    Additional local benefits include:
  • Clinical care for local people with neurological disorders and jobs for the local community
  • A £10 million boost to the local economy
  • NHNN outpatient facility and an MRI scanning facility
  • Contributions to local transport, affordable housing and Community Partnership Plans with local charities and organisations 

Community Garden Project

people looking at a garden
We’re collaborating with local communities, to create a series of community garden spaces. Artist Harun Morrison is collaborating with Calthorpe Community Garden and other local communities and individuals to explore ideas around health and gardening. 

The project is part of a wider UCL public arts programme to connect artistic practices with research on neurology and dementia. An artist with an ongoing interest in the uses and potentials of public space, Harun’s project will focus on the development of garden spaces within the new IoN-DRI building on Grays Inn Road. The project so far has focused on building a team of collaborators, forging relationships with local stakeholders and organisations with relevant expertise, and exploring relationships between plants and memory across different cultures. We are now laying the groundwork for a series of collaborative garden sessions to begin in spring 2023. 

Harun has co-designed a number of community gardens to date, often taking a collaborative approach and working with community groups to imagine the spaces together.


We have consulted extensively with our local community throughout the design development phase, including working closely with our neighbours at the Calthorpe Project, a community garden and centre.  As well as two phases of public consultation, in September 2018 and February 2019, we have regularly met with local groups, neighbours, local residents, members of the public and many other stakeholders, including the London Borough of Camden, Historic England, Greater London Authority, various amenity societies to discuss the scheme and ensure the development supports its needs.

As part of this consultation process, we were able to make a number of significant changes to the scheme to minimise disruption to our neighbouring community.

In addition to these developments, UCL has committed significant support to enable the future growth of the neighbouring Calthorpe Project, an asset to the local community which provides a community garden, sports pitches and a community centre

Community initiatives

During the construction phase, as part of our joint commitment to supporting the local community and environment,  our construction partner, ISG are delivering a number of community-facing initiatives

ISG collaborated with Great Croft Resource Centre run by Age UK Camden to organise a volunteering event to maintain a local garden space used by elderly people, includig planting tulips, daffodils and hyacinths . About 80% of those who visit the Great Croft Resource Centre have dementia and their garden space is a really important part of their therapy.