HEALTH chiefs have announced that the construction of a new specialist emergency care hospital in the North East will generate £72m for the local economy.
In the autumn, work will begin on the building of the £75m facility in Cramlington, Northumberland, where medical experts will work around the clock to see and treat patients.
It is expected that the hospital will take two years to complete and bosses at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust say each month £3m will be ploughed back into the local economy through construction costs, materials and labour.
In the next few weeks the trust will announce who is contracted to build the hospital and, as part of the tendering process, companies were asked to use North East workers and suppliers wherever possible.
Birju Rana, project director for the new hospital, said: “We are all delighted that we are moving ahead with this project to bring a revolutionary new style of hospital to the area, that will provide world- class care for patients in North Tyneside and Northumberland.
“This hospital will put Cramlington and the North East on the map as a front runner in emergency care.
“It is also great news for the construction industry. It will mean much- needed jobs at this difficult time as about £3m a month will be ploughed back into the economy for the two-year duration of the building project.
“We will be announcing the contractor in the next few weeks and then work will begin on the new hospital, the first of its kind in England.”
The specialist emergency care hospital will be built alongside the A189 to the south of East Cramlington and will serve the 500,000 population of North Tyneside and Northumberland.
It will have an A&E department, admission and in-patient wards, hi-tech diagnostics and critical care as well as a short-stay paediatric facility and consultant-led maternity unit.
The hospital is part of a £200m investment by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. A further £125m will be spent upgrading North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals, while community hospitals in Berwick and Haltwhistle will be rebuilt.
Andrea Stoker, general manager of the specialist emergency care hospital, said: “This new hospital is changing healthcare for the future and it is something the North East should be very proud of.”
Last night, MPs said it was an exciting time for those in the region.
Mary Glindon, Labour MP for North Tyneside, said: “It is a real boost for the area at a time when the economy is not looking too good.
“It is exciting, not just because of the new hospital, but because of the knock-on effect it will have in generating money for the local economy.”
It is also great news for the construction industry. It will mean much- needed jobs