Work will start on a long-awaited cancer centre for Sussex next month.

The Macmillan Cancer Support Centre in Brighton is expected to help thousands of patients and their families every year.

It will be based next to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, which provides specialist cancer services for patients throughout the county.

A fundraising campaign, supported by The Argus, was launched almost four years ago to create the purpose-built centre.

The building will cost £5.96m, with Macmillan contributing nearly £3.96m.

The charity has about £1.3 million left to raise and is urging people across the Sussex to help with the final push.

The Sussex Cancer Fund has pledged £1.6 million and a commitment to fund ongoing costs and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is providing £400,000 as well as the site for the centre.

Builders will move on to the Rosaz House site in Bristol Gate on February 24 to begin demolition work.

The centre will offer all-round support for cancer patients in a calm, friendly and non-medical environment.

It will provide specialist cancer information and advice, counselling services, complementary therapies and help with physical activity.

There will also be advice on welfare benefits, hair and skincare, diet and a space for self-help and support groups.

The centre will be linking up with existing information and support services across Sussex, to ensure that cancer patients, families, carers and friends in the county can find the help they need at the time they need it most.

The total number of people in Sussex living with or who have previously battled the condition is set to almost double by 2030 from 60,996 to 121,400.

Macmillan area fundraising manager Robert Moon said: “A team of specialists at the new centre will offer all round support for people living with cancer in a calm, friendly and welcoming environment - so no one in Sussex has to face cancer alone.”

Sussex Cancer Fund chairman George Deutsch said: “I am delighted that we're about to start building the centre - it will provide a vital component of care for Sussex patients and their families.”

Fiona McKinna from the Sussex Cancer Centre, said: “Being told you or someone you love has cancer can leave you feeling shocked, upset and isolated and you or your family may need support or help with practical things that matter to you before, during and after treatment.

“This centre will help provide this crucial support and ensure patients and their families have the best possible experience at what is a difficult time."

The centre is expected to open in spring 2015.

To make a donation or to take part in a fundraising event, call 0300 1000 200 or email