HUNDREDS of people gathered outside Great Western Hospital to celebrate Brighter Futures hitting its £2.9 million target.

A flash mob of the Swindon Rock Choir belting out Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now kickstarted a joyous occasion that brought together fundraisers who had supported the radiotherapy appeal over the last few years.

Brighter Futures patron and star impressionist Rory Bremner said, in the voice of Donald Trump: “It’s great to see 100,000 people here to celebrate a great day for the people of Sweden, they’ve done a great job.”

Then: “In all seriousness, this wasn’t something I expected to see so soon. I lost my father to cancer and.... this centre is going to make a huge difference.”

Dr Claire Hobbs, Head of Radiotherapy at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, agreed: “I thought we would have the building built and be waiting for the money for the machines, but it’s the exact opposite, which is astonishing.

“We are very grateful to all the amazing people who have done all sorts of extraordinary things to provide additional funding for our new radiotherapy centre.”

Peter Mainwaring, 67, from Coleview, was one of those people.After being diagnosed with prostate cancer and driving to Oxford five days a week, he decided to do two sponsored walks between the GWH and John Radcliffe Hospitals for the appeal after reading about something similar in the Advertiser. He raised more than £21,000.

Work on the new unit will begin later this year and it is expected to be complete and open to patients by the end of 2020.

Roger Hull, chair of the GWH NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Your achievements will leave a lasting legacy for thousands of patients.

“Around 700 people every year suffer the stress and anxiety of making the journey to Oxford, and many are unable or unwilling to make that journey. This will give them the service they deserve.

“This appeal raised an average of £70,000 a month and this has been almost entirely down to individuals, families and friends who recognise the impact that cancer can have on people’s lives.

“The Swindon Advertiser have done a great deal of work in promoting this campaign, as have the staff in our brilliant communications team.”

The rotary clubs in Swindon raised £175,000 for the appeal, and Swindon MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson secured even more funding for it.