WORK has started on the construction of Colchester’s new multi-million pound cancer centre.

Ground works will continue for a further two weeks at the Colchester Hospital site where the cancer centre will be located.

The dream of a new centre goes back nearly ten years and the Collingwood Centre is now due to open by the end of this year.

Nick Chatten, acting director of estates and facilities at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester Hospital, said: “We’re really excited to see work is now under way on the Collingwood Centre.

“More and more people are in need of cancer care at the hospital which is why we need to develop our facilities so we can offer the best possible treatments and care for our patients.

“We will have all the specialist equipment and staff on hand when they need it most in a stress-free, more comfortable environment.”

The works mark the start of improving care for patients in north Essex who will be treated in a purpose-built chemotherapy and haematology suite next to the hospital’s existing radiotherapy unit.

Funding the £3.25 million Gazette-backed project saw donations from across the community including a £1 million anonymous gift.

But there is still £221,740 to fundraise before a wellness centre, offering counselling and support services, can be built.

Make a Will month in February will support this.

Participating solicitors including Birkett Long, John Fowlers and Goody Burrett, will waive their usual legal fees for a donation to the appeal A basic single will will cost customers an £85 donation and mirror wills are £150.

All donations need to be paid ahead of appointments.

Individuals and businesses can also join the 2019 Club and pledge £2,019 to the campaign before March. Membership applications are open all year.

Learn more or donate here