Boost as hospital building starts

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An artist's impression of the new plans © Royal Liverpool Hospital

An artist’s impression of the new plans © Royal Liverpool Hospital

Building has finally begun today on Liverpool’s new multi-million pound Royal University Hospital.

Initial work on the site on the corner of West Derby Street and Low Hill will see the site cleared and hoardings placed around the area over the next few weeks. The first construction crane is due to arrive in March.

Developers Carillion will build the state-of-the-art facility – reported to cost £429 million – which will include 18 operating theatres, 23 wards, a large clinical research facility and a 40-bed critical care unit. The new facility will also offer one of the biggest emergency departments in the North West.

The new build will replace the current Royal Hospital and will boost the economy as well as the employment rate whilst the work is taking place.

Liverpool City Centre Councillor and Cabinet member for employment, enterprise and skills, Nick Small, told JMU Journalism: “I’m really pleased work’s finally getting underway on the site as this development is something that I and a number of others have been campaigning for, for over 10 years.”

During construction, around £240m will be contributed into the local economy and 750 full-time jobs will be created. Builders Carillion are contractually obliged to employ 60 percent of its workforce from local postcodes, with 15 percent coming from the most deprived areas with the highest unemployment rates.

Cllr Small added: “It’s going to be a huge opportunity for local jobs, local firms and local people and I’m very pleased with the 60 percent figure for local people. I’m also delighted to say we have also managed to make 100 apprenticeships available to local people on the site.”

The new development is expected to be ready in 2017 and Cllr Small believes that once completed, there will be a big new opportunity to develop the current Royal site to link it in with the city’s ‘knowledge quarter’.

There were fears that the plans for the new hospital would be cancelled in December 2012 due to Government cutbacks.

However, those worries were quashed in February of last year when plans were given the official go-ahead .

Hospital Chief Executive Aidan Kehoe and Chair Judith Greensmith said in a joint statement: “This is an incredible, momentous and exciting milestone in the journey towards the new hospital opening. These projects will put Liverpool and the UK on the world’s scientific stage in a key global industry.”

Funding for the new Royal will come from The European Investment Bank, which will provide £90.5m, along with £118m from the Royal NHS Trust and £94m from the Department for Health, with the remainder being put forward by private investors.

Local resident James Leyshon took to Twitter to say: “Today is a hugely exciting day for Liverpool as work begins on the new Royal Liverpool Hospital. Well done to Liverpool Council and everyone involved!”

The new hospital will be linked to Liverpool University Bioinnovation campus development and it is hoped that the two can bring around 5,000 highly paid jobs to the city.

About Joshua Weale, JMU Journalism