DEMOLITION of Carlisle hospital’s eyesore tower block is now complete - making way for a new £35m cancer centre.

Work began in January to flatten the old building, which was built in the 1960s but has stood empty for years.

Contractors have since been carefully pulling down the old structure, which was situated next to the main Cumberland Infirmary building.

Now the site is almost cleared, work can start of the ultra-modern new cancer centre.

A spokesman for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The former tower block is now demolished and the contractors are currently making sure that the site is fully cleared ready to begin building the new cancer centre, which is expected to open in 2021.

“The new centre will not only mean a modern environment to be treated in but also new equipment to deliver vital treatment locally in north Cumbria.”

Once built, the cancer centre will house new technology and bring radiotherapy and chemotherapy services - which are currently in separate parts of the infirmary site - together.

The redundant tower block has long been regarded an eyesore after falling into a state of disrepair.

It was condemned shortly after Storm Desmond in 2015, when excessive rain penetrated the building and electrics.

At one point there was talk of turning it into a multi-storey car park, but that never happened.

Now national NHS funding has been secured to construct the pioneering £35m cancer centre in its place.

Preparation work started on site in November, when scaffolding and plastic shrouding was erected around the tower block. Contractors have since been working away on site

and are currently on schedule.

With the building now flattened, those visiting the hospital can now see clearly how much space is available.

Cancer services staff at the trust are excited about the project, particularly as it will prevent patients who are undergoing treatment from having to trek across the site to different buildings.

The cancer centre will incorporate two new linear accelerator (LINAC) radiotherapy machines, as well as other technology.

As well as chemo and radiotherapy, there will also be room for outpatients appointments and cancer support services.

CCL Solutions has been overseeing out the demolition work - which has been complicated by the fact the tower was in the middle of a fully-functioning hospital site with other buildings around it.

Building work is set to begin soon, once the site is fully cleared.

National firm Graham has been awarded the contract to build the new centre.

Work expected to be complete in January 2021.