Chamber’s AGM receives update on £38m cancer centre

James Ramsbotham, Chris Land, John McCabe, Douglas Ritchie and Helen Lee at Matfen Hall for the Chamber Northumberland AGM.
James Ramsbotham, Chris Land, John McCabe, Douglas Ritchie and Helen Lee at Matfen Hall for the Chamber Northumberland AGM.

Northumberland business leaders heard the latest news on the specialist Rutherford Cancer Centre, which is due to become operational this summer.

At the North East England Chamber of Commerce’s Northumberland AGM at Matfen Hall, Chris Land, centre manager for the Rutherford Cancer Centre, explained the building at Bomarsund was going to be handed over by the contractors in mid-April.

He said: “This centre is the result of substantial research and investment into the best way to treat specific types of cancer. We are going to provide proton therapy which has a number of advantages over more traditional treatments like radiotherapy as it targets the cancer specifically without damaging healthy tissue near it.

“As well as the healthcare benefits, our £38million North-East centre will create up to 50 jobs with both clinical and administrative posts, and the construction project also created jobs for local workers.”

The Rutherford Cancer Centre is being development by Proton Partners International, which raised £200million to develop five centres in the UK, with the Bomarsund centre the second to be created. Reading, Liverpool and Central London centres will follow the first two in Newport and Northumberland.

The centre is based on the Earth Balance site and Chris Land said the Earth Balance charity, Northumberland County Council and local NHS trusts were instrumental in supporting the move to that location as it will form an anchor for the whole development.

t the meeting, Douglas Ritchie, from Renolit, was re-elected chairman of the Northumberland area and gave a review of the Northumberland area’s activities and visits, which included a tour of Akzo Nobel’s site and a briefing on the North of Tyne devolution deal.

The AGM was sponsored by the North East LEP’s North East Growth Hub. Helen Lee, who leads the mentoring programme, outlined the North East LEP’s business growth programme which aims to increase the density of scale-up businesses by 50 per cent by 2024, creating a further 6,000 jobs.