A new hospice for terminally ill cancer patients is to be built in Perth.
The new centre will be built at Perth Royal Infirmary
Proposals for a 10-bed in-patient palliative care unit have been approved by Tayside NHS Board.
The £5.68m plan involves demolishing the listed Cornhill House building at Perth Royal Infirmary, and replacing it with the new facility.
NHS Tayside said providing the service was a "key priority" because there were currently no in-patient palliative care facilities in Perth and Kinross.
The centre is scheduled to open in July 2009 and building work to clear the site should start next year, if plans to demolish the listed Cornhill House are approved by the authorities.
More than half the cost will be met by Macmillan Cancer Relief, which is planning a massive fundraising campaign, and NHS Tayside will contribute almost £2m.
Quality of life
Specialist medical staff and counsellors will work in the centre to provide a range of services, including complementary therapies and a drop-in centre for carers.
A report which went before Tayside NHS Board said there was a need for the facility in Perth and Kinross.
It said: "Currently, there are well-developed acute hospital, community hospital, day care and home care services.
"The services, however, are fragmented and located in poor accommodation, which renders it difficult to offer high quality, integrated care.
"Provision of modern, purpose-built and permanent facilities on a single site will address the issue.
"This development aims to have a significant impact on both the quality of life for the patient and the health of the carer involved in the care of the patient, through improved symptom control and provision of respite care."
The project's approval has been applauded by Macmillan Cancer Support.
St John Hattersley, from the organisation, said: "This is a major and welcomed step forward for the people of Perth and Kinross who have been looking forward to this development for a number of years."