Work has started on the site of a multi-million pound rehabilitation centre in North Yorkshire for injured jockeys.

Jack Berry, vice-president of the Injured Jockeys Fund, was present to cut the first turf at the facility in Malton which will be the charity’s second UK centre.

Mr Berry, who has been a pivotal figure in bringing the project to fruition, said: “It is a great honour to be allowed to kick-off the building work at Jack Berry House even if they are not quite letting me build it myself. Everyone knows my lifelong passion for the work of the Injured Jockeys Fund and this project in particular, and it is very fitting that we hope to build the entire centre in 2014, our 50th anniversary year.”

The project team includes Huddersfield-based building contractors Illingworth and Gregory Ltd; architects, Townscape Ltd; property and construction consultants, LHL Group, quantity surveyors, Derek Kershaw Partnership; and Malton-based structural engineers, Maltech.

The centre, which will occupy a two-acre site next to Malton and Norton Rugby Club, is set to open at the end of the year. The single-storey state-of-the-art-building, will include a gym, hydrotherapy pool, treatment rooms and respite accommodation.

Lisa Hancock, chief executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund, said: “We are thrilled that work will start at Jack Berry House this week.

“The support we have received for the project has been staggering and of the £3 million needed we have ring-fenced £2 million already.

“We are hoping the remaining million will come through fundraising over the next ten months or so and before we open the doors next winter.”