There were celebrations as an appeal to bring world-class cancer services to Dorchester reached its target after more than two years of fundraising.

The charity team at Dorset County Hospital (DCH) have announced the Cancer Appeal has hit its huge target of £1.75million.

It launched in 2016 and has grown in leaps and bounds ever since thanks to donations from community groups, businesses and the public. A final donation of £25,000 from the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, which also made the first donation, pushed the appeal to its final milestone.

The project will provide facilities for cancer patients particularly from north, south and west Dorset and will support the provision of radiotherapy services in Dorchester for the first time.

Dorset County Hospital Charity head of fundraising, Simon Pearson, said: "We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the Cancer Appeal.

"This is a fantastic day for Dorset County Hospital. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer and your support will ensure we are able to provide the very best cancer care and treatment for patients at DCH. We are all immensely grateful."

The appeal has funded the construction of a cancer and haematology outpatients department which has been built on top of the new radiotherapy unit funded by Poole Hospital.

It will provide bespoke rooms for consultations, counselling and additional support services for all cancer patients at DCH.

Patricia Miller, chief executive of Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust said: "I want to thank everyone who has supported the Cancer Appeal including all our staff, volunteers and fundraisers. This has been an excellent example of a successful project between NHS Trusts and charity partners and we are very excited to finally be able announce its completion."

Due to the success of the appeal, which has also been raising funds for the hospital’s chemotherapy unit, a new plan is being developed which aims to deliver a ‘gold standard’ refurbishment of the chemotherapy unit.

Peter Greensmith, chairman of Dorset County Hospital Charity said: "This is a great day for all of us at the hospital. I wish to personally thank all our donors and partners, including the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, for everything they have done to bring this appeal to its target."

DCH says Mike Bayne, oncology consultant at Poole Hospital, was instrumental in the wider project to bring radiotherapy services to Dorchester for the first time.

He said: "I am delighted to hear that the Cancer Appeal has reached its target. This is a real milestone for cancer treatment in West Dorset."

Chairman of the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust Paul Ryan said they are "very pleased" to have been the appeal's major charity partner.