The final design proposals for the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease are now awaiting Leeds City Council approval, ahead of appointing a contractor and starting work on-site at Seacroft Hospital.

The planning application follows extensive stakeholder and engagement sessions led by architects Corstorphine & Wright to create a building that meets the vision of all those involved, including clinical staff, patients, and the wider MND community, as well as the Burrow family.

The proposed building is arranged in three joined forms - an East and West Wing, which house the primary clinical spaces, connected via a central atrium. This central space has been designed as a community focused area with reading and quiet spaces, as well as activity and dining areas. It will be a place for family members to use and will enable staff to observe patients in a more informal setting.

The first floor is designated as a staff area with a dedicated wellbeing space to provide staff working in the building with space away from the clinical areas - an important consideration when providing care to patients with such a challenging condition.

Externally, the building has presence, with red brick tiles and gabled roofs. Internally, natural materials will blend throughout the spaces, further supporting the wellbeing of patients and staff using the building.

Architects image of the front of the building including green spaces and parking outside

The new centre will make the most of the existing landscape features including mature trees, and will provide landscaped gardens with access routes through zones with a mixture of planting for patients to engage with. It will also provide spaces for other therapy activities to take place as well as a memorial wall for private moments.

Targeting a sustainability rating of BREEAM 'Excellent', the centre will be built with a vision for the future, able to adapt to new innovations and treatments for MND patients as they emerge. 

Craige Richardson, Director for Estates and Facilities, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, says,

“It’s brilliant news that the planning application for the new Motor Neurone Disease centre has been submitted. Once we move past this point, the landscape really starts to take shape and it will be a rapid succession of activity over the next few months.”

Architect and Associate Director at Corstorphine & Wright, Toby Ingle, says,


"As well as being adaptable for the future, one of the main visions of the new MND centre is to create a space for the MND community to come together to support one another, and this will remain at the heart of what it does. Engaging with what the community wants the new centre to be has fundamentally informed how we have designed the new building, from its location on the site and the materials we will build it from, to the furniture that we will specify and the colours and textures we will weave throughout the building and landscape. 


“The submission of the planning application marks a positive and exciting step forward in seeing the centre come to fruition."

 Architects design of the rear of the building with green spaces outside

CEO of Leeds Hospitals Charity Esther Wakeman says,

“This is an important milestone in our journey to build the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease here in Leeds. I have met with many patients and their families, including Rob, who have helped us share the importance of this new centre. Thank you to everyone who has fundraised, we’re almost at the finish line, with £1.5million left to reach our fundraising target. I hope these designs and plans show our supporters how their donation will be spent to make a real difference.”

Once planning permission has been submitted, it goes through a review process and on approval we will be looking to commence on site as soon as possible.

Leeds Hospitals Charity hopes that thanks to donations, the centre will transform the hospital experience for people with MND, their loved ones, and those caring for them. The current fundraising total sits at over £5.4m towards a target of £6.8m.