Charity Maggie’s applies for planning permission in Oldham

Maggie's second cancer support centre for Greater Manchester

Maggie’s Cancer Care has applied for planning permission to build a new support centre in Oldham.

To be located within the grounds of The Royal Oldham Hospital, the new centre will complement the clinical care offered by the hospital and will be the charity’s second facility in Greater Manchester, following in the footsteps of Maggie’s at The Christie.

Maggie’s Oldham has been made possible by the Stoller Charitable Trust, which has fully funded the centre. Spokesman, Norman Stoller, said: “Across Greater Manchester we are lucky to have the highest standard of treatment and care for cancer. I am proud to have helped complete the funding of Maggie’s at The Christie and also to support the building of Maggie’s Oldham, which together will offer support to complement this excellent medical care and ensure that Greater Manchester is truly a world leader in cancer care.”

Maggie’s Oldham has been designed by dRMM, an international studio of architects and designers whose projects include the Tower of Love Festival Headland in Blackpool; Rundeskogen in Norway (with Helen & Hard Architects); and WoodBlock House and Kingsdale School in London.

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 Oldham 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 Royal Oldham Hospital and dRMM Architects on this project.

”The centre is built around a sloping garden, offering rooms full of light and garden views creating a calm and uplifting environment for everyone that visits.”

Dr Roger Prudham, consultant, deputy medical director, and cancer lead clinician at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “I would like to express my delight and excitement at the development of a Maggie’s Centre at The Royal Oldham Hospital.

“This building will offer patients, carers and staff something entirely different to any of our existing facilities. It is designed around the needs of people rather than the technical function of our clinical facilities. Experiences for families dealing with cancer will be improved with the generous provision of this unique building, complementing the investment that the trust and The Christie have made in cancer services for the population we serve.’

Alex de Rijke, director of dRMM Architects said of the design: “A Maggie’s Centre can be likened to a house – and ours is a house full of surprises.

“The building hovers over a sloping garden, supported on very slender columns. The garden offers ‘open-air rooms’ framed by pine and birch trees, with a reflecting pool of rainwater discovered underneath the building.

”From this central oasis trees grow up through the building, bringing nature into the interior.

”The building is about content, not form. On entering the deliberately-simple timber box over a bridge, the visitor is confronted with a light-filled void of trees and unexpected simultaneous views down to the garden pool below, up to the sky, and out to the Pennine horizon.”

Discreet meeting rooms and niches carved from a ‘thick’ wall allow for privacy in the otherwise-completely-open interior space, which has been planned around a central lightwell.

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