BURY Hospice has unveiled plans to move out of Radcliffe and build a new £5 million state-of-the-art base in Bury.

The centre has outgrown its current site in Dumers Lane and needs more space for a bigger and better equipped hospice to care for terminally-ill patients.

It is now in the process of buying the site of the former St Bede’s Church, in Rochdale Old Road, to build a new home.

The larger grounds will allow the hospice to expand from five to 10 in-patient beds and improve its services to care for people with a range of illnesses. A capital appeal is now being launched by the hospice to pay for the £5 million building.

It already has a development fund of £2.5 million, made up of savings and two large legacies.

A series of fundraising events will be held in coming months and members of the public will be asked to make donations to reach the target.

It is hoped that £600,000 will come from a grant from the Department of Health, but planning permission for the new building must be granted before the end of March for the hospice to qualify.

Elizabeth Houghton, chief executive of the hospice, said: “Whilst we have around half of the finances in place for the new building, we now have the challenge of fundraising around £2.5 million to make sure this can happen.

“We welcome all support. Whether it pays for a brick or a bed, every donation will make a huge difference.”

The hospice has been based in Dumers Lane since it was built in 1991 and provides care for patients and their families 24 hours a day.

Several extensions have been built on the site over the years, but there is not enough space for the hospice to grow further.

The new hospice building will have 10 large, fully-equipped in-patient rooms, each with ensuite facilities and access to its own terrace landscaped garden.

The rooms will provide enough space for specialist equipment, such as large wheelchairs, allowing patients with a range of conditions to be treated there.

There will also be visitor accommodation for families wishing to stay with patients, purpose-built therapy and consultation rooms, increased catering facilities, and training facilities for staff, students and other clinical professionals.

Outside the building will be extensively landscaped gardens, a lake, and a number of quiet areas for patients and their families.

A planning application will be submitted to Bury Council by the end of the month and, if approved, building work will begin in April.

It is hoped the building will be constructed and fully equipped in time for the first patients to be treated there before the end of 2011.

Ms Houghton said: “Our aim is always to make the hospice the next best place to home and the new building will provide a more spacious and comfortable environment for patients and their families to use.

“We have had an ambition for a long time to create a new purpose-built facility that would allow us to extend and improve our services to care for patients with all terminal illnesses.”

A series of public consultation events will be held to find out what people think about the plans for the new hospice.

They will take place from 6pm to 8pm next Wednesday at Fairfield Primary School, in Rochdale Old Road, and from 10am to noon on Saturday, December 12 at the Mill Gate shopping centre.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the new building fund can contact the hospice on 0161 797 1748.