The Christie charity hosted its glamorous and star-studded annual fundraising ball on Saturday 10th March at the spectacular Principal hotel in Manchester city centre.

Supported by AX Paris, ladies online fashion retailer and Law Print & Packaging, a specialist packaging supplier delivering to brands worldwide, the event raised £155,000 which will go towards the development of a state-of-the-art research centre to replace the Paterson building that was severely damaged by fire last year. 

Living Ventures and the Tim Bacon Foundation, in memory of their dear colleague Tim, also announced that they were donating £500,000 to The Christie at the ball.

The new research centre, a partnership between The Christie, The University of Manchester and Cancer Research UK, will be the only facility of its kind in the country to have a research building integrated within a hospital with scientists, researchers and consultants all working together in one facility, developing and shaping treatment and research from basic scientific discoveries through to patient care – from bench to bedside.

Professor Robert Bristow, chief academic officer and honorary consultant in clinical oncology at The Christie and director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, said: “The fire was devastating for The Christie and its partners but from chaos comes opportunity and we now plan to create a better building than we ever imagined before.

“The fundraising that goes towards this is driving forward the creation of a brand new building that will bustle with scientists, researchers and consultants whose work will directly affect cancer patients.”

Award-winning singer Lemar headlined the fundraising ball which was hosted by TV presenter and former Strictly Come Dancing star Naga Munchetty.

Dancing on Ice star Lemar has had seven top 10 UK singles and sold over two million albums. He has won two Brits and three Mobo awards.

BBC Radio 5 live presenter Phil Williams conducted an auction of fabulous prizes on the night and singer Natalie McGrath and acoustic roaming band Wanderland also entertained at the event which had a 1920s theme and saw ‘Flapper girls’ welcome guests to the sumptuous surroundings of the city centre Principal.

Other famous attendees on the night included Coronation Street stars Dolly-Rose Campbell and Victoria Ekanoye, and Real Housewives of Cheshire star Leanne Brown. From Hollyoaks Lysette Anthony, Sophie Porley, Haiesha Mistry, Nathan Morris and David Kennedy enjoyed the night alongside Happy Mondays singer Rowetta Satchell and Early Doors actors John Henshaw and James Quinn.

Arun Anand, director at sponsor AX Paris, said: “AX Paris is delighted to sponsor this year’s Christie Charity Ball which is raising vital funds to benefit cancer patients in the north west for years to come.”

And Kate McCauley, marketing manager of fellow sponsor Law Print & Packaging, said it was proud to support the event, adding: “The work The Christie does, not only in treating cancer patients but also with its research, is remarkable and we are really pleased to support The Christie charity.”

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has over 43,000 supporters who helped raise £14.4m last year.