Sarah Brown, the wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has attended a ceremony to mark the start of work on a new cancer support centre.
The Maggie's North East Centre is anticipated to open in summer 2013 at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
It aims to increase the level of emotional support and practical advice on offer to people affected by cancer across the region.
Maggie's North East will be part of the North of England Cancer Network, covering a population of approximately 2.1 million people.
The area, which stretches from Cumbria to Tees, sees around 5,500 new diagnoses of cancer a year.
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