Johnny was also joined by Everton legend Ian Snodin to mark the occasion.
Andrew Cannell, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, said: “We are delighted to be working with Laing O’Rourke on this very exciting development that will transform cancer care for this region.
“We have worked closely with staff and patient representatives on the design of the new building and we are all very excited to now see our plans taking shape in what will be a landmark for the area.
“The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has a commitment to providing the very best care for our patients. The new cancer hospital will allow us to do that.”
Bulk excavation and foundation works are now under way at the site, adjacent to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the University of Liverpool.
Laing O’Rourke’s head of UK building, Liam Cummins said: “We look forward to using our engineering expertise and innovation in healthcare to deliver a brand new hospital for The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust. When the first patients are received into the new hospital in 2020 our team will be proud to have played some part in improving the facilities needed for specialist cancer care in Merseyside and Cheshire.”
Construction of the site is expected to be completed in the spring of 2020 with the new hospital expected to welcome its first patients in the summer of the same year.
Comedian Johnny Vegas knows first-hand how crucial the project is to transform cancer care in the region because his dad Lol Pennington was treated at the Wirral centre, he said: “The new hospital is absolutely vital. It may not have affected you, but with cancer we know at some point it will and this hospital will help transform cancer care, not only for our families but for families in the future.”
The new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre will provide specialist chemotherapy and other drug therapies, radiotherapy, inpatient and outpatient care, cancer support and rehabilitation, bone marrow transplant and urgent cancer care. There will also be a teenage and young adult unit.
It will care for people from across Merseyside and Cheshire and beyond, with solid tumours and blood cancers and will also carry out clinical trials of new cancer treatments.