Work begins on art for Tameside Macmillan Unit

The moors near Tameside. Image: Chris Tipping

Image: Chris Tipping

Willis Newson are currently working with Macmillan Cancer Care to remodel an existing building at Tameside General Hospital near Manchester and have appointed artist Chris Tipping to develop artwork for feature walls and glazing. 

Building on existing facilities provided by the Trust and Macmillan for cancer patients, the new unit will include a Macmillan Information and Support Centre, a 6 chair treatment room, waiting areas, procedure rooms and various spaces for alternative therapies.

At the start of the project a creative consultation workshop was held with patient, family and staff representatives to explore opportunities for the art, interiors and courtyard design. We are working with IBI Architects supported by KKE Architects on landscape design to deliver an integrated approach to art, architecture and landscape.

Creative activities were used to sensitively explore the group members’ personal experience and coping strategies and to identify common themes.

Participants in the sessions all shared their appreciation of the value of ‘walking in nature’ as a healing experience and the beauty of the landscapes of Tameside. Patient Representative Stewart Ramsden shared his favourite walk, which will become the inspiration for the central artwork in the new centre.

“Journeys through the Landscapes of Tameside” is the overarching theme for the project, creating a supportive environment for patients by bringing to mind the reassuring rhythm, repetition and movement of walking.

Chris is taking this inspiration and Stewart's description as the starting point for his work which he is documenting on his project blog.

Visit Chris' website where he is sharing his research, images and inspiration from Tameside walks and then follow the process as he interprets these details into a final artwork.


"from Godley, across farmland and woodland, then a climb over Wild Bank Hill, with views over the Peak District, the Saddleworth Moors and Cheshire Plain, huge skies, wind, the smells of heather - my favourite local walk that always makes me feel better."

Stewart Ramsden
Patient representative