A hospice which controversially closed its day centre in a bid to save money has made a profit for the first time in two years.

Bosses at the Martlets Hospice in Hove say they are relieved to be back on financial track but say the pressure is still on if they are to continue to raise enough money.

The hospice has made a net profit more than £212,000 over the last financial year, which ran from April 2012 to the end of March.

The two previous years it was in the red.

The hospice had found itself struggling to cope as the impact of the recession led to a fall in the money coming in from wills and from the sale of property bequeathed to it.

However people have continued to show their support through taking part in fundraising events, using the hospice's charity shops and signing up to its lottery.

Martlets Care, a private care agency set up by the hospice, has also raised more than £200,000, which has been ploughed back into hospice services.

Hospice acting chairman John Powell said: “This is a very encouraging result following two difficult years and the trustees would like to thank everybody in the local community for their continuing financial support of the Martlets.

“Only around a third of our funding comes via the NHS, so we are still faced with the ongoing challenge of raising over £8,000 per day to fund the hospice's services.

“We also need to ensure that we have a prudent level of reserves to ensure our core activities remain sustainable.

“Hospice trustees and management have had to make some difficult decisions over the past two years in order to contain costs.

“These savings together with increased income from a number of our fundraising and trading activities plus focusing on specific clinical priorities means we have been able to provide high levels of care for patients both at the hospice itself and in the home, whilst also continuing with our support for families and carers.”

Hospice chief executive Caroline Lower said: “We are obviously not going to sit back and relax but we are in a much more encouraging position at the moment that we have been before.

“That is down to a lot of hard work and a great deal of support and we are very grateful.”

The hospice in Wayfield Avenue, which supports people across Brighton and Hove and surrounding areas, needs to generate more than £4.3 million a year to keep its services going.