STRUCTURE: A campaign has been launched to protect an eighteenth century hall after Barts Health Trust revealed it is backing the development of a modern cancer centre to be built next to the old building.

Campaigners with the group name Save Barts Great Hall are concerned that a proposed new cancer centre with a surface of translucent glass that glows in the dark would prevent the restoration of the Great Hall’s North Wing.

The campaigners are proposing that the new cancer centre is built on another part of the hospital site

The Great Hall was built in the eighteenth century by the Scottish-born architect, James Gibbs, and the North Wing includes the Hogarth staircase, which has canvases by William Hogarth.

The trust has lent its backing to the development of a new Maggie’s Cancer Centre on the side of the Great Hall.

A spokeswoman for Barts said that while the trust was committed to the future of the Great Hall it cannot support the campaigners’ plans for the North Wing “as they would prevent the development of a much-needed Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre.

“We believe we can work in partnership on a way forward to both secure the long-term future of the Great Hall and enhance the quality of care and support we offer to thousands of cancer patients and their families each year.”

Former surgeon-gynaecologist at the trust, Sir Marcus Setchell, who launched the campaign last week said it did not have to be an “either or” decision.

He added: “We have also identified a potential alternative site for the construction of a new Maggie’s counselling centre here at Barts, without impeding the essential renovation and improvement works needed to save the Great Hall and give it new life.