The leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has pledged a “substantial grant” from taxpayers’ cash to support a state-of-the-art cancer centre to serve North Hampshire.
Council leader Clive Sanders, the borough councillor for East Woodhay (Con), raised the topic of the Ark Cancer charity, during recent borough council discussions on the council’s budget from April.
The £18.5m project to serve, north Hampshire patients is planned to be built next to a proposed £150m critical treatment hospital on land close to junction 7 of the M3, near North Waltham.
Mr Sanders said: “There can hardly be a family in Basingstoke and Deane which has not been touched in some way by the effects of suffering cancer, or sadly may be in the future.”
If planning permission was granted, he continued, the council should allocate a ‘substantial grant’ to the Ark appeal, from the council’s infrastructure reserves, while calling for councillors’ support on the proposal.
The move would be subject to the approval of the full council.
Trustee for the Ark Cancer Centre charity, Merv Rees, said it was a “fantastic pledge of support” from Mr Sanders.
He continued: “The cancer treatment centre is truly a project for the people, by the people, and the backing of the borough council will help to ensure that we can provide the care and support that local cancer patients, their families and friends need and deserve."
The Ark Cancer charity was also celebrating recently hitting a financial milestone, following a Question Time-type event, Has Hampshire Got Views For You!
It attracted a 200-strong audience, and a high-profile panel, including businesswoman Nicola Horlick, and was chaired by barrister Paul Hardy, and raised £53,000 for the charity, taking the fundraising total through the £500,000 mark.
The centre will be mostly funded by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, but the charity’s £5m appeal will ensure patients and their families can receive enhanced care in a state-of-the-art environment.