Darlington Memorial Hospital's £285,000 unit unveiled
A medical research centre to trial new drugs is to open at a hospital.
The unit, which will test cancer treatments, will open at Darlington Memorial Hospital later this month.
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said the new facility would be one of the biggest of its kind in the region.
One of its first projects will be trialling a breast cancer drug for the National Institute for Health Research.
The unit, in converted offices, has a waiting room, meeting rooms and includes out-patient area.
A spokesman for the trust said: "The centre means patients here in the local area have the opportunity to access the latest drugs under development - which has obvious benefits.
"Last year we had 2,735 patients involved in our research, and we recruited to 91 clinical trials - so the new unit will be extremely busy."