Researchers can apply right now to the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation to access the £50 million of funding. The timescale for spending the money depends on the research applications received. The £50 million over five years is a minimum commitment, and we hope to spend much more than that on research in this vital area. We are working with the motor neurone community to help it effectively access the committed funding and to boost MND research even further.
The Minister has made a positive announcement in the course of the last few months, and this is an important repetition, but there seems to be a slight miscommunication going on because organisations are telling me that they are not sure where the co-ordination is coming from. May I invite her to meet me and the coalition of patients and researchers to try to nail down exactly what is happening, in a spirit of good faith?
I would be happy to meet my hon. Friend. I have also met some of the campaigners and researchers in this area, and the head of our research arm, so that we are clear. The support we are providing to the community includes a new £4 million MND partnership. That will bring the research community together so that they can pool resources and expertise to leverage that funding further, and ensure that they put forward strategic applications.