Magpas Air Ambulance has launched its Future 50 Appeal in the presence of its patron, the Princess Royal.

Princess Anne attended the launch event at the Jockey Club Rooms, Newmarket, on Monday.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Princess Royal met with Magpas Air Ambulance personnel in Newmarket this MondayThe Princess Royal met with Magpas Air Ambulance personnel in Newmarket this Monday (Image: Magpas)

The Future 50 appeal is intended to raise funds for a bespoke airbase for the charity, which is having to relocate since its current facilities were sold for development in 2016.

However, by relocating to a site closer to the region's major trunk roads the charity hopes to reduce road dispatch times by a crucial 15 minutes.

More than half the funds for the £7 million base have already been raised, while planning permission has already been granted at Alconbury Weald.

Nonetheless, continued fundraising is vital as £3million more will be required to complete the base, which is supposed to start operating in March 2023.

As well as improving road access, the new Magpas Air Ambulance base will have a dedicated centre for training the next generation of emergency doctors and paramedics and be equipped for 24/7 operation. By locating both the charities support staff and operations at the new site, Magpas hope to reduce overheads and lessen their environmental impact.

East Anglian Daily Times: Magpas intend to raise £3 million for a new airbase by 2023Magpas intend to raise £3 million for a new airbase by 2023 (Image: Magpas)

The charity has been providing emergency doctor care across the region for the last 50 years.

Formed in 1971 as the Mid Anglia General Practitioner Accident Service, the initial doctors involved responded to road accidents using their own cars.

They have since grown into an organisation of more than 50 doctors and paramedics and acquired their own helicopter following government cutbacks in 2012. Magpas has also contributed substantially to the creation and development of the field of Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine, which is now studied and used across the world.

Magpas Air Ambulance is charity and relies on donations to continue saving lives. If you can, please donate at