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Plans edge closer for new Berwick hospital site

Friday, 11 July, 2014
Plans edge closer for new Berwick hospital site

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is reassuring the public that plans to build a new multi-million-pound hospital in Berwick are moving forward.

After announcing the preferred site earlier this year, proposals have moved a step closer with a period of public consultation to be held on the sale of the land.

The preferred site – a 2.5-hectare site at the southern end of the Academy’s playing fields – was announced in May. A draft option agreement between the Trust, the Academy and Northumberland County Council was prepared and is currently with the Secretary of State for Education for approval.

As part of this approval process, a consultation will take place with regards to the proposed changes to sporting land and will last 10 weeks. No date has been set for the consultation.

Northumbria Healthcare has committed to reposition the two football pitches currently on the site and fund significant improvements, ensuring they meet Sport England specifications. The Trust will also refurbish six tennis courts to enable the Academy to have a high quality facility for use by pupils and the community.

Rebuilding Berwick Infirmary is part of the Trust’s £200million investment to significantly improve healthcare in Northumberland and North Tyneside over the next 10 years.

Brian Griggs, Director of Capital Planning and Development at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We remain fully committed to delivering a new hospital for Berwick which will bring significant health benefits to the local community.

“This consultation is purely about the sale of land and not about the hospital itself. This a clear sign that things are moving forward with regards to the acquisition of the land.

“We appreciate that local people want to know what is happening with the new hospital development and we will continue to keep everyone updated as the plans progress.”

Stephen Quinlan, Headteacher of Berwick Academy, said: “The improvements to our sports facilities will make a significant difference to our students and help to keep them fit and healthy.

“The consultation is part of the process any school needs to follow when considering selling land. 

“We are fortunate to have a large site and we are confident that there is ample suitable space on the remaining 34 acres to accommodate sporting facilities. 

“In addition, our facilities will be improved which is good news for our students and the community.”