The Christie eyes start for £26m Macclesfield cancer centre

The NHS Trust has been given the go-ahead for a radiotherapy centre at Macclesfield District Hospital in its first development outside Greater Manchester, designed by AFL Architects.

The £26m centre was announced last year and will be its third satellite site away from its main campus in Withington, with centres at Salford Royal and Royal Oldham Hospital already operational.

Now that plans have been granted by Cheshire East Council under delegated powers, The Christie will look to appoint a contractor with an aim to start work this year. The centre is due to open in summer 2021.

The designs by AFL will sit on part of the Millbrook Unit at Macclesfield General and will be linked to the main hospital building via a ground-floor corridor.

Facilities will include two linear accelerators for radiotherapy treatment; a CT scanner room; spaces for counselling, consultation, therapy, examination, workshops, and offices; space for staff research, and a chemotherapy treatment room.

The two-storey building will feature a curved brass façade with the patient stair and lift core, as well as the corridor link to the main hospital, clad in grey sandstone. The brass cladding is designed to match the appearance of The Christie’s main site in Withington.

Turley has supported The Christie with its application for the Macclesfield site.

Dr Andrew Sykes, clinical lead for the new centre, said: “This is a big step forward for the project and is very welcome news for anyone from the area who will be touched by cancer in the future.

“We have already heard from hundreds of people who have experienced cancer how much difference the new centre will make. Whilst patients and families are prepared to travel to The Christie in Withington for specialist services, we know that most would prefer to have those services locally where possible. The Christie at Macclesfield will provide the highest standard of cancer care for patients.”

At the time of the planning application, a spokesperson for The Christie said: “[The centre] will bring together essential cancer services into one purpose-built unit delivering local specialist access to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, holistic support and information services, outpatient care, palliative care and clinical trials. While some cancer care is currently available in Macclesfield, many patients travel to The Christie in Withington, South Manchester for their appointments.

“This can mean a journey time of two hours or more which puts tremendous pressure on patients and their families at an already stressful time. The vision for the new centre is that it will deliver more than 15,000 radiotherapy treatments every year with 18 treatment chairs to deliver more than 4,000 chemotherapy treatments a year.”

The investment forms part of an estates strategy for The Christie which will also see it build a 10-storey replacement for the fire-damaged Paterson Building in Withington.

The 270,000 sq ft cancer research centre, designed by BDP, is set to include more than 113,300 sq ft of laboratory and research space over four floors, along with 92,000 sq ft of consultant workspace.

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