The event marked the end of a major £1.4 million project to update key areas including bedrooms and bathrooms, the chapel, reception and concourse. A major part of the work that has taken 12 months to complete, was funded by a generous legacy from Mr John Milligan of Newquay who died in 2011. There was also a substantial grant of £490,000 from NHS England.

Michele Dotrice was welcomed to Mount Edgcumbe Hospice by Chairman of Trustees, Liz Anderson who spoke to everyone assembled for the opening ceremony;

"I'm delighted to welcome you to see our newly refurbished facilities and thank all those who have helped with the funding and acknowledge the generous legacy from Mr Milligan. A special thanks goes to all those involved in the project, including our staff and volunteers."

Gary Brookes from builders, Interserve said it had been a real pleasure working in the hospice;

"We have ended the project with a really good result. There've been some tight deadlines but everyone has worked hard to meet them. I would particularly like to thank our Site Manager Tony Knightsbridge for his role."

Michele Dotrice was then invited to cut a ribbon marking the opening of the refurbishment and as she raised the scissors to the pale green ribbon she said;

"It is a huge privilege to be asked to open the refurbished facilities and I am very grateful that you invited me. I am astounded at what you have done and wish you all well for the future."

Mr John Milligan's legacy means facilities at Mount Edgcumbe have been updated to the benefit of patients, their families and staff at the hospice. An educated man who was instrumental in setting up Newquay Gig Club, Mr Milligan clearly realised the importance of legacies to charities remembering both Cornwall Hospice Care and the RNLI in his will.

Paul Brinsley, Chief Executive of Cornwall Hospice Care, says the whole team are delighted to see the project reach a beneficial conclusion:

'This upgrade brings Mount Edgcumbe right up to date in terms of the facilities we provide for patients and their families and for our staff. I'd like to thank everyone who has been involved from the builders Interserve, through to our Project Manager Kevin Marsh, Lizzie Hotton who is Unit Manager/Sister, our staff and our supporters who have shown great dedication, enthusiasm and patience during the work. I would also like to pay tribute to Mr Milligan who understood the importance of legacies to our charity and to the other Trusts and Foundations who supported the project.'

'We would all like to thank Michele Dotrice too, who has kindly given up some of her time to carry out the official opening in support of Mount Edgcumbe Hospice. Her support and friendship means a great deal to us all.'

Michele Dotrice comes from a family of actors and actresses and is fondly remembered for her role as Betty, the long-suffering wife of Frank Spencer in the BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, which ran from 1973 to 1978. The actress was married to another famous star of stage and screen, Edward Woodward who died from cancer in 2009.

The cost of the refurbishment was met thanks to Mr Milligan's legacy, a grant from NHS England through Help the Hospices and donations from a number of charitable trusts including from the Wolfson Foundation, the Albert Hunt Trust, the Duchy Health Charity, the Gawthorne Cariac Trust, the King/Cullimore Charitable Trust, the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation and Pirate FM's Pirate Trust.