Charity Maggie’s receives planning permission for Centre in Oldham Maggie’s second cancer support Centre in Greater Manchester

Maggies centre TROH
Charity Maggie’s receives planning permission for Centre in Oldham Maggie’s second cancer support Centre in Greater Manchester
15 December 2015

Maggie’s, the charity that provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends, has been granted planning permission to build a new Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of The Royal Oldham Hospital. The Centre, designed by dRMM architects with landscaping by Jinny Blom Landscape Design, is due to open in late 2016.

Working in partnership with The Royal Oldham Hospital the new Maggie’s Centre will complement the excellent clinical care offered at the hospital by providing free support for anyone living with cancer as well as their family and friends.  The new Centre will be the charity’s second Centre in Greater Manchester, following in the footsteps of Maggie’s at The Christie which is due to open in Spring 2016.

Maggie’s Oldham has been made possible by the enormous generosity of the Stoller Charitable Trust, which has fully funded the Centre. Norman Stoller, CBE, CStJ, DL, of The Stoller Charitable Trust and principal donor said “I’ve had my own personal cancer experience and know first hand that Greater Manchester has the highest standard of treatment for cancer. This personal experience led me to help complete the funding of Maggie’s at The Christie and also to support the building of a new Maggie’s Centre here in Oldham. It’s fantastic news that Maggie’s Oldham has now received planning approval bringing us closer to offering much needed support to complement the excellent medical care and ensure that Greater Manchester is truly a world leader in cancer care.”

Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie’s adds: “We are delighted that planning permission has been granted for Maggie’s Oldham, as it brings us a step closer to the Centre becoming a reality. Creating a calm and uplifting environment to enable us to provide our programme of support to people living with cancer is incredibly important and dRMM’s innovative design will allow us to do just that.

“Maggie’s Oldham will be our second Centre in the North West, following in the footsteps of Maggie’s at The Christie. The programme of support that these two Centres will offer aims to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of people with cancer, allowing us to fulfil our ambition of providing the highest quality of cancer support to complement the excellent clinical care already on offer across the North West.” 

Dr Roger Prudham, Consultant, Deputy Medical Director and Cancer Lead Clinician at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “I am really excited that we have reached the milestone of having the planning permission for the new Maggie’s Centre at The Royal Oldham Hospital approved. Maggie’s Centres are truly unique buildings unlike anything patients, carers and staff will have seen before. They are modelled around the needs of the people rather than the medical functions and equipment used to treat patients, which really improves the experiences for families dealing with cancer. This Centre is an amazing gift to the people of Oldham and it will really complement the investment that the Trust has made into cancer services in this area.”

Maggie’s Oldham has been designed by dRMM, an international studio of architects and designers. The studio is renowned for creating architecture that is innovative, high quality and socially useful and will use this expertise and experience to create the calm, uplifting environment so important to the people who visit and work in Maggie’s Centres.

Prof Alex de Rijke, Co-Founding Director of dRMM Architects comments: "The Planning approval signals support not only for Maggie's ambition to extend their unique services to Oldham; it recognises that progressive architecture is part of progressive thinking about cancer care. dRMM Architects are delighted to be designing a special place embodying this positivity!"

To complement the Centre the surrounding gardens have been designed by Jinny Blom Landscape Design to create a restorative natural woodland with dRMM’s staircase descending through the canopies of birch, pine and magnolia with the Centre floating above the garden.

Jinny Blom adds: “Gardens and the opportunity they give us to immerse ourselves in nature are immensely important.  Fresh air, calm places, proximity to plants and wildlife help balance the emotional and physical intensity that accompanies stressful times. The little garden at Maggie’s can be enjoyed from within in the treetops due to the wonderful floating building, or as a charming woodland experience with little glades to sit in and enjoy the birds flitting about. Essentially we are making a gentle woodland setting, full of delight, for the timber and glass building.”

Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional well- being.

There are already 18 Maggie’s Centres across the UK, online and abroad and all are designed by leading architects.  Each architect offers a unique interpretation of the same brief, based on the needs of a person living with cancer, to create the calm environments so important to the people who visit and work in the Centres.

Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations to support and grow its network of Centres and to develop its unique, high quality programme of support. The charity’s aim is to make the biggest difference possible to people living with cancer and their family and friends. For further information and to get involved in fundraising please visit

www.maggiescentres.org/oldham

Building description from dRMM Architects

A Maggie’s Centre can be likened to a house; ours is a house full of surprises. The building hovers over a sloping garden, supported on very slender columns. The garden offers ‘open air rooms’ framed by pine and birch trees, with a contemplative space discovered underneath the building.

The building is about content, not form. From a central oasis trees grow up through the building, bringing nature into the interior. On entering the deliberately simple timber box over a bridge, the visitor is confronted with a light-filled void of trees and unexpected simultaneous views down to the garden below, up to the sky, and out to the Pennine horizon.

The need for both privacy and collectivity is respectively met with discreet meeting rooms and niches carved from a ‘thick’ wall, and the otherwise completely open interior space, planned around the central lightwell. The materials are timber, glass and the outside presence and colours of the garden inside.

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For further information please contact Laura West on

laura.west@maggiescentres.org and 020 7386 3518

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About Maggie’s

  • Maggie’s offers free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. Built in the grounds of specialist NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places, with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Great architecture is vital to the care Maggie’s offers; and to achieve that Maggie’s works with great architects like Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, whose expertise and experience deliver the calm, uplifting environments that are so important to the people who visit and work in the Centres.
  • The first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996. There are now 18 Centres across the UK, online and abroad, with more planned for the future.
  • Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations to support and grow its network of Centres and to develop its unique, high quality programme of support. The charity’s aim is to make the biggest difference possible to people living with cancer and their family and friends.
  • 2016 marks Maggie’s 20th
  • Maggie’s President is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
  • For further information about Maggie’s please go to maggiescentres.org