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Ceremony will mark milestone for Leeds cancer centre plans

VISION: An artist's impression of the new Maggie's centre at St James's Hospital.
VISION: An artist's impression of the new Maggie's centre at St James's Hospital.
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The dream of bringing a Maggie’s cancer centre to Leeds is set to take a huge step towards becoming a reality.

A ground breaking ceremony will be held on Monday at the site chosen for the centre, next to the Bexley Wing at St James’s Hospital.

Preparatory and construction work will then get under way with a view to the facility opening its doors early next year.

Monday’s ceremony follows confirmation that a Yorkshire Evening Post-backed appeal to raise £6m for the building and running of the centre has secured more than £5m in cash and pledges to date.

Situated a stone’s throw from the St James’s Institute of Oncology, Maggie’s will provide free practical and emotional support to cancer patients and their families.

Martin Jenkins, chairman of the Maggie’s Yorkshire Campaign Board, said he was “thrilled and delighted” by the progress of the project.

He went on: “Bringing a new Maggie’s centre [to St James’s] for people across Yorkshire is vital as we are a region critically under-served by cancer support services beyond the NHS.”

Set up by breast cancer patient Maggie Keswick Jencks prior to her death in 1995, the Maggie’s charity runs a network of centres throughout the country.