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Ditched hospital plans resurrected

Scrapped by the coalition government, Anshen + Allen’s £464 million Billingham scheme could be brought back in scaled-down form

Anshen + Allen Architects has slashed £164 million off the cost of its axed Teesside hospital scheme as part of a plan to resurrect the project.

Just six months after the government scrapped the £464 million scheme in Billingham, hospital chiefs are about to approve the practice’s trimmed-down plan and find a private funding partner for its delivery.

Unveiled this week, the revised £300 million design has squeezed the hospital into a 20 per cent smaller footprint. As well as a reduction in height from four to three storeys, the 80,000m² hospital’s 626 single rooms will also be smaller, a North Tees and Hartlepool Trust spokesperson confirmed.

Savings worth as much as £60 million through VAT exemptions on the private funding stream will be added to £40 million gained through the sale of decommissioned hospital sites – including the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the North Tees Hospital in Stockton.

Anshen + Allen declined to comment.

Keith Millay, director of health sciences at Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, said the redesign reflected a trend towards more, smaller scale, localised patient services.

He said: ‘What we are seeing is projects redesigned are very sharp on making sure the services being provided are appropriate, so everything that you can is pulled out to condense the project to very appropriate clinical elements.’

Nic Allen, Devereux Architects’ chief executive, added: ‘We’re interested in what comes after PFI and there are two or three projects around that are joint venture partnerships between the public and private sector – there could be some interesting variants of PPP emerging.’

Forecasted figures from industry monitor Glenigan show that the underlying value of healthcare projects starting in the first quarter of 2011 will be down 19 per cent on last year.

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