THE charity Yorkshire Cancer Research is to invest £4.3m to improve the outcomes for cancer patients across the county.

Over the next five years, money raised by supporters will be ploughed into bringing clinical trials to the county and funding research projects with a clear benefit for patients across the region.

Yorkshire currently has below national average five-year survival rates for three of the four most common cancers. There are also several hotspots of the disease associated with cultural and socio-economic factors and healthcare inequalities.

The new funding marks the first stage in the charity's renewed focus on tackling issues that are prevalent within the region and ensuring that local people have access to the best possible treatments.

Chief executive Charles Rowett said: “Earlier this year we made significant changes to our funding process to make sure we help the people of Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer. There is overwhelming evidence to show that regions that are research-rich have better health outcomes within their communities.

"Yorkshire is lagging behind and Yorkshire Cancer Research, along with several other regional charities, is working to fill the gap as national charities and government continue to reduce their research expenditure in the North of England.”

A large proportion of the new funding will be spent on research into bladder cancer, which is more prevalent in Yorkshire than the rest of the UK.