First look at plans for a new £5million cancer support centre in Leeds

The Bexley Wing at St James's Hospital. Picture by Mark Bickerdike.

The Bexley Wing at St James's Hospital. Picture by Mark Bickerdike.

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Councillors will get a first look at plans to build a new £5million cancer support centre at St James’s Hospital today.

Maggie’s cancer charity officials, who hope to open a new centre on land next to the hospital’s Alma Street multi-storey car park in 2017, will present pre-application plans for the facility to Leeds City Council’s north and east plans panel.

Leeds St James's Hospital. Picture by Graham Lindley.

Leeds St James's Hospital. Picture by Graham Lindley.

The centre plans, which are yet to be formally submitted, are described as having a “highly contemporary design” and feature roof gardens. It would offer free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families.

A report to the panel states that the building, close to the hospital’s Institute of Oncology at Bexley Wing, is designed to resemble a series of ceramic pots and offers users open garden views. It said: “The proposal offers an opportunity to secure a high quality building and associated landscaping which will improve the current environment, as well as be beneficial to future users.”

The YEP revealed that NHS bosses had given Maggie’s the go ahead to create a new cancer support centre, which would be its first in Yorkshire, last year.

The charity is named after one of its founders, Maggie Keswick Jencks, who died in 1995.

There are 15 Maggie’s centres in the UK offering complementary therapies, practical help, information, courses and support groups. Its new facility would provide support in addition to the hospital’s Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre.

Last year it was revealed Maggie’s would be granted a lease for the site at a peppercorn rent and the charity would meet all construction, maintenance and running costs.

CHARITIES BOTH OFFERING CANCER SUPPORT

A new Maggie’s cancer support centre would work alongside aid offered by another cancer charity.

The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, situated behind the Thackray Museum, has offered services such as support groups, yoga classes, counselling, hair loss services and hypnotherapy to help people affected by cancer since 2000.

Earlier this month the facility was ceremonially reopened following a £260,000 revamp that created a new quiet room, larger meeting room and salon for patients with hair loss. For information visit maggiescentres.org or macmillan.org.uk.

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