Maggie’s applies for planning permission for new Yorkshire centre

Published: 17-Jun-2015

Heatherwick Studio to design cancer support facility

Maggie’s has applied for planning permission for a new Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of St James’s University Hospital in Leeds.

Designed by Heatherwick Studio, the new Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre will be built adjacent to the Leeds Cancer Centre in the Bexley Wing at St James’s University Hospital.

The Leeds Cancer Centre currently sees more than 12,500 people newly diagnosed with cancer every year and provides specialist cancer services to a population of around 2.7 million people across the Yorkshire region and beyond.

Supported by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the new centre will enhance the cancer support already provided through Leeds Cancer Support at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre through Maggie’s evidence-based core programme of support including psychological support, benefits advice, nutrition workshops, relaxation and stress management, art therapy, tai chi and yoga.

The centre is scheduled to open in 2017.

Maggie’s chief executive, Laura Lee, said: “A cancer diagnosis and treatment brings with it tough questions and difficult emotions which can leave many feeling isolated. The programme of support that we will be offering at Maggie’s Yorkshire will help to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of people with cancer across the region.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Heatherwick Studio on this project. Submitting our planning application is an exciting step forward in bringing a Maggie’s Centre to Yorkshire.”

Dr Linda Pollard CBE, chairman of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “The emotional trauma of cancer can be just as difficult as the physical effect, so we’re delighted that we’re now a step closer to making a huge difference to our patients and their families.”

The centre’s innovative design consists of a series of contained gardens that will capture the therapeutic effect of plants and contrast with the more-formal gardens surrounding hospital buildings. The design will create a warm, informal interior space as well as an inspiring exterior to encourage positivity among centre visitors and passers-by.

The building will take the form of a collection of stepped planter elements, each holding a piece of garden, bringing the planting into and over the building itself. Shared and private internal spaces will be playfully created between and within the planters.

Designer, Thomas Heatherwick, said: “We’re delighted to work with Maggie’s to bring a centre to Yorkshire and to have the opportunity to create a positive environment which will help calm minds and foster a sense of wellbeing. The building will combine the qualities of a garden with shared and private spaces.”

Heatherwick Studio’s building design provides the setting for the surrounding gardens which will be created by award-winning landscape designer Marie-Louise Agius of Balston Agius.

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