The Treasury has approved a new hospital’s business case, finally giving the go-ahead for HOK’s heavily delayed new Papworth Hospital PFI scheme
Construction was originally due to begin on the £165million project to build a 310-bed facility on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in late 2012, but it has been hit by a series of delays.
This sign-off of the business case was continuously pushed back but today’s news of its approval could signal a move forward for the scheme.
John Wallwork, chairman of Papworth Hospital said: ‘For many years we have been convinced that the right place for this world class institution to provide high-quality services for patients with heart and lung conditions from across the country is on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. We now look forward to putting that vision into reality.’
Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, added: ‘Bringing Papworth and Addenbrookes more closely together will also create a hub of leading-edge research and pharmaceutical development and also firmly underlines our commitment to the long term plan for science.’
The approval signals the go-ahead for the Skanska-led construction team to begin work on the hospital, with building work set to start on site at the end of the year.
The project will see the 75-year-old Papworth Hospital moved from its current site at Addenbrooke’s in the city of Cambridge to its new site on the outskirts within the Biomedical Campus.
HOK were picked for the job ahead of BDP back in December last year.
The project is expected to complete in 2018.
Previous story (AJ 09.12.13)
Double jackpot: HOK picks up Parliament and Papworth projects
HOK has scooped two of the highest profile projects in the UK in the space of a week after landing the proposed overhaul of Parliament and the new Papworth hospital job
According to reports, HOK bagged the £1 billion revamp of the grade I-listed Palace of Westminster on Friday (6 December) as part of the AECOM and Deloitte team beating consortia which included Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, Donald Insall Architects, HLM, and conservation specialists Purcell.
Meanwhile it has emerged that the practice, ranked 37th in this year’s AJ100, was also in the Skanska-led PFI consortium which was chosen as preferred bidder on the £206million project to ‘design, build and maintain’ the new Papworth Hospital when it relocates to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (pictured).
Although it remains subject to approvals from the Department of Health and HM Treasury, the team was selected ahead of a rival bid by BDP and Bouygues with HOK’s concept scheme being hailed as a ‘fantastic clinical design’ by the hospital’s chief executive Stephen Bridge (see CN 05.12.13).
Bridge told the AJ’s sister publication Construction News he was confident of reaching financial close on the scheme, despite what he admitted was an ‘overly bureaucratic’ process that had resulted in the scheme going through multiple layers of approval up to this point
Bridge said the decision was ‘an important milestone in the ten-year project to move to our new site on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus’.
He said the Department of Health had cleared the business case to be forwarded to the Treasury for approval.
‘The clinical, research and economic case for the new Papworth Hospital is beyond doubt and we look forward to relocating to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus which is fast becoming one of the most vibrant biomedical communities in the world.’
Construction of the 310-bed facility was originally due to begin in late 2012, with completion scheduled for late 2015. When this timetable slipped, the hospital trust originally expected approval in April 2013.
Papworth Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust confirmed it did not expect to sign a contract with the preferred bidder until summer 2014, with the hospital not open to patients until early 2017.