The health secretary has revealed that Newmarket is among 10 places in England to receive government backing for new community diagnostic centres.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: "Today I'm announcing the approval of 10 new community diagnostic centres which are helping to bust the Covid backlogs by delivering vital tests, checks and scans in local areas."

As part of a £15million project, residents will have access to new MRI and CT scanners, upgraded X-ray and ultrasound suites and additional cardiology, lung function and phlebotomy services.

Community diagnostic centres (CDCs) are usually based in settings such as shopping centres and football stadiums and the site in Newmarket will be located next to the current hospital in Exning Road.

Proposals were backed by the Suffolk and North Essex Integrated Care Board in July this year and building work will begin in April 2023.

The Newmarket CDC is set to take its first patients in April 2024.

NHS Suffolk and North East Essex chief executive Ed Garratt said: "It's fantastic that the funding for a community diagnostic centre at Newmarket has today been approved.

"The range of tests available at Newmarket will enable earlier diagnosis and better outcomes for patients, helping to reduce health inequalities in west Suffolk."

He added: "The location for new CDC is ideal to support people living in Newmarket and surrounding districts to access diagnostic services which we hope will be more convenient to them and save them from having to travel to their nearest hospital for tests."

Newmarket's CDC is the second centre in the area to be approved after Clacton's £22m project opened in March - plans for a similar centre in Ipswich are currently being developed.

Dr Coffey confirmed that the government is set to open 160 new centres by 2025, delivering an additional 17 million checks.

Vin Diwakar, NHS medical director for transformation, said: "We know that rapid diagnosis saves lives, and it is great news that more of these centres have been approved to provide checks and scans in the heart of local communities, making services more accessible and convenient while also helping to improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions."