Birmingham-based charity Cure Leukaemia has appointed three well-known city businessmen as trustees after a 42 per cent increase in annual fundraising.

The blood cancer charity raised £863,474 in the year to October 31, 2013, which it said was worth more than £8 million in potentially life-saving drugs.

It has appointed Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell, head of the Birmingham office of law firm Pinsent Masons Greg Lowson and Richard Turnbull, partner at Deloitte in the city, as trustees.

The charity said the trio's work had contributed to the rise in income, which has gone towards recruiting more specialist nurses at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, overseen by Professor Charlie Craddock.

It said pharmaceutical companies were creating potentially life-saving drugs at a faster rate than they could be tested and, unless more specialist nurses were funded, leukaemia patients would die without accessing these new treatments.

Purnells restaurant founder Mr Purnell said: "Over the past two years, I have worked closely with Cure Leukaemia as a patron. I'm honoured to have been invited to further support the charity by becoming a trustee.

"Professor Charlie Craddock and his team at the Centre for Clinical Haematology right here in Birmingham provide ground-breaking research and treatment that is made possible through Cure Leukaemia.

"I'm a very proud Brummie and we, as a city, should be equally proud that Birmingham has a genuine opportunity to find a cure for this terrible disease."

Mr Lowson, who is also vice-president of the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, ran a half marathon to raise money for the cause.

He said: "I was delighted to accept their invitation to become a trustee and I look forward to working with the Cure Leukaemia team to help the charity realise its ambitions."

Mr Turnbull said, as his wife had been treated for Hodgkins Lymphoma at the Centre for Clinical Haematology, it was a cause close to his heart.

"This world-class charity based in Birmingham is something we can all be very proud of and I'm looking forward to helping them achieve their goals as a trustee," he added.

Cure Leukaemia chief executive James McLaughlin said: "With another strong year of growth in fundraising it is imperative that we continue such growth to raise funds for more specialist nurses across the region."