A CANCER charity threatened with closure after it was told to leave its premises has been saved.
Wirral Holistic Care Centre supports thousands of cancer patients across the region.
Last July staff were told the building they had occupied for 16 years, at St Catherine's Hospital, Birkenhead, was to be torn down.
Since then they have battled to find cash to set up a new centre.
Now they have struck up a deal with health officials to move to a new building in Claughton.
Chief executive Dorothy Crowther, a former nursing tutor at Clatterbridge centre for oncology, said: "It has been a dreadful year and it is not over yet.
"But we are extremely positive about this. We have put in an offer and that has been accepted.
"The building is ideal and has lovely gardens.
"But we need to raise a lot of money to bring it up to the necessary standard. We are frantically writing letters and applying for grants to find the cash, but the main thing is that we have found somewhere suitable.
"We are the only centre like this in the UK offering holistic support free, specifically for cancer patients."
The centre which opened in 1988 offers a range of complementary therapies, including reflexology, massage, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and counselling.
Staff criticised NHS executives for failing to consult them before any decision was taken about the future of the building. But money has now been set aside to help them set up the new centre.
Kathy Doran, chief executive of Birkenhead and Wallasey Primary Care Trust, said: "This will provide self-contained accommodation for the charity, which has long been their preferred solution.
"The PCT has agreed to support rental costs for the next five years such that the charity will be able to redeem their mortgage at the end of that time. The PCT has also agreed to provide repayable assistance in the short term and to pay for reasonable removal costs.
"The proposed property has considerable advantages for WHCS. It allows them to realise their long held ambition for self-contained premises.
"It will provide upgraded accommodation for patients with disabled access and dedicated parking.
"It is still within the Birkenhead area which fits with their patient profile and is convenient for public transport for those patients who do not have their own transport."