Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease will provide specialist care

The new £6 million Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in Leeds will be a state-of-the-art facility designed to support the complex, changing needs of those with the illness.

Work began at the site at Seacroft Hospital on Monday, the day after the ex-rugby league player’s death was announced, with his family saying he “would be looking down and smiling”.

Since Burrow’s MND diagnosis in 2019, the former Leeds Rhinos player had been spearheading a £6.8 million charity appeal for Leeds Hospitals Charity, where he received care, to build the centre to support those living with the incurable disease.

Burrow’s close friend and former team-mate Kevin Sinfield helped to raise millions of pounds for the appeal through completing numerous challenges, including running seven marathons in seven days.

The state-of-the-art, purpose-built centre has been designed to provide cohesive care for MND patients who have complex, changing needs.

Kevin Sinfield during the ground-breaking ceremony
Kevin Sinfield during the ground-breaking ceremony (Danny Lawson/PA)

Once complete, it will also house a therapy space, procedure room and an area for patients to “bank” their own voices if they use a digital aid to support communication.

Families and carers of those with MND will also be supported at the centre.

The site, which is more than 1,000 square metres, will have wheelchair accessible parking and a landscaped garden.

Views of patients, families and carers and the needs of clinical staff and other specialist services have all been incorporated in the design of the facility.

Since Burrow’s death was announced on Sunday evening, the fundraising appeal for the centre has received more than 1,000 donations.

The build is expected to take around a year.

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