Photo gallery: Celebration as East Coast Hospice campaigners buy land
- Credit: James Bass
The dream of an independent hospice can 'never be taken away' from campaigners, now they own their east Norfolk site.
Dozens of supporters of the East Coast Hospice (ECH) charity turned out to land off Sidegate Road, Hopton to celebrate the milestone.
And to rapturous applause from the assembled crowd, a sign depicting the finished 10-bed hospice – called Margaret Chadd House – was unveiled.
The five-acre site cost £100,000, with a further £150,000 spent on plans, surveys and other factors.
Construction will cost £4m, and trustees are confident building will begin in 2016.
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Patrick Thompson, a patron of the charity, said: 'It's a very important milestone from which to launch the capital bid. It can never be taken from us - now it belongs.'
End-of-life campaigner Margaret Chadd, 91, of Southwold – after whom the new hospice will be named – described the occasion as a 'very special day'.
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It follows news of a separate bid for a 10-bed hospice at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.
But ECH organisers said their hospice must be independent, and not an NHS asset which is out of their control.
Angie Buxton-King, principal fundraiser, said: 'It's such a shame they can't see the benefits of working with an independent, free-standing hospice but we hope they will in the future.'
She added their all-encompassing hospice would help people for generations to come, and was revealed as what people wanted in a survey they conducted in 2007.
Brandon Lewis, Great Yarmouth MP, said there is enough demand to warrant having both.