The first visitors to the new Addingham Medical Centre, which opens to patients today, were impressed by the long-awaited new healthcare facilities.

Members of the public and members of Addingham Parish Council have been taken on guided tours of the centre, off Main Street, ahead of its official opening.

The completion of the centre marks the culmination of many years of battling for a modern purpose-built surgery to serve Addingham patients. The campaign began under long-serving GP Dr Eugene Raubitschek, but building work finally started under the current village GP, Dr Adil Suleman.

Dr Suleman funded the building project himself, and the building will be leased by NHS Bradford and Airedale.

Addingham parish councillors praised the new centre and those involved in its construction.

Vice-chairman Councillor Ian Taylor, said: “Everyone who has been involved in getting us to this point deserves a medal. It is a wonderful, state-of-the-art resource of which the village should be very proud. Contractors, architects and health service staff have all played a huge part in bringing it about, and most of all we must congratulate Dr Suleman for having the patience and perseverance to see it through.

“It will be a jewel in Addingham’s crown for many years to come.”

One member of the parish council, who works as a practice nurse in another area, thinks the new centre measures impressively against other NHS surgeries.

New councillor Dawn Brady said: “This is as good a facility as I have seen in the health service – I was particularly impressed with the minor surgery suite, the staff areas, and the fact that environmental considerations have played such a big part in the design.”