COLCHESTER'S new £25 million state-of-the-art radiotherapy centre has opened.

The centre, first mooted nearly 25 years ago, is the most modern in the country and is the biggest single capital investment in the health service in Colchester since the hospital opened nearly 30 years ago.

It will enable staff at Colchester General Hospital to treat cancer patients using radiotherapy with pinpoint accuracy.

The centre features five radiotherapy treatment suites of which four have already been fitted with linear accelerators costing £1.8 million each.

The first seven patients underwent treatment today and by the end of August, all cancer patients will be treated at the Turner Road hospital.

For a special report, see Tuesday's Gazette