BOSSES at St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice say news that a hospice will be built in Bridgwater will see an eightyear dream become reality.

Last week, the Government pledged £383,000 to build the new facility at an as yet undecided site in the town centre.

Various fundraising events will be staged during the construction period to secure the £560,000 needed to complete the project.

Patients currently have to travel to Taunton for hospice services offered by St Margaret’s despite Bridgwater being one of the county’s core areas.

Chief executive Jon Andrewes sai: “This is fantastic news for ourselves and the people of Bridgwater – ever since 2005 it has been my ambition to open a facility in the town and this money will allow us to do just that.

“I have to thank Sedgemoor District Council for its support in helping us bid successfully for this money.”

The new hospice will not offer beds for overnight stays, but will provide respite services previously unavailable in Bridgwater.

As well as the Bridgwater development, the St Margaret’s hospices in Taunton, Yeovil and Holford have each received grants of thousands of pounds to build new three-bed independent living centres.

The projects are expected to be completed in eight months, while the new Bridgwater facility could be ready in 12 months.

At present up to four sites are being considered for the hospice.

The development would also create an as yet undecided number of jobs and would be the base for community nurses operating in the area.

Mr Andrewes said: “As an organisation which relies so heavily on donations we were delighted to receive this money from the Government.

“It’s excellent news for each and every one of the people in Somerset who have worked so hard raising money over the years.”