Woodland setting is planned for Leeds cancer support centre

The Nottingham Maggie's centre
The Nottingham Maggie's centre
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A NEW cancer support centre at a Leeds hospital will be comprised of buildings surrounded by a woodland garden, according to latest plans.

The Maggie’s centre is set to be built at St James’s Hospital.

As previously revealed in the Yorkshire Evening Post, renowned architects Heatherwick Studio – who were behind the 2012 Olympic Cauldron – are designing the £5m building.

Directors at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust were given a preview of current proposals, with planning permission expected to be submitted next year.

Neil Hubbard, of Heatherwick Studio, said the latest plans involved a series of individual rooms connected by glazed communal areas.

“We don’t want to create monoliths, they should feel full of life,” he said.

The Maggie’s charity, which was set up by breast cancer patient Maggie Keswick Jencks prior to her death in 1995, runs a network of centres throughout the country. They offer free practical and emotional support for patients and their families, in unusual buildings which provide an oasis of calm.

Centres are always close to hospitals and the new Maggie’s Yorkshire will be adjacent to the Bexley Wing, which cares for cancer patients.

Mr Hubbard, and landscape designer Marie-Louise Agius of Balston Agius Landscape Design, said the plans aimed to make the most of the site, which is next to a car-park.

“It’s the complete antithesis of what was there before, but it also works with it,” Ms Agius added.

Hospitals trust chairman Linda Pollard said they were looking forward to seeing how the plans progressed.