£200m Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary approved

Plans for a new £200 million district general hospital in Dumfries has been approved by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The planned 350-bed complex had been recommended for approval and is earmarked to be built on farmland off the Garroch roundabout at the western end of the town’s by-pass.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway has also applied to build staff residences, a heli-pad and 980 parking spaces.

A new road layout for the site has already been completed and High Wood Health, a consortium of Laing O’Rourke, Ryder Architecture and Serco, was been named as the preferred bidder for the works contract.

Jeff Ace, NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s chief executive, said: “This is a major milestone which allows us to work towards financial close at the start of the New Year, and paves the way for the start of construction scheduled for spring 2015.

“We have come a long way from the initial site selection of the green field site, on the outskirts of Dumfries.

“Since then an immense amount of hard work has been undertaken by the project team, advisers and our bidding partners to reach this point, and many of our staff have worked closely with them on the detail of the design.”

Project director Dennis O’Keeffe described planning approval as a “significant step” towards bringing “ambitious plans for community benefits to fruition”.

The news was also welcomed by High Wood Health’s bid director David Hunter.

“It is a significant step representing the continued collaboration between High Wood Health, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and our project stakeholders to develop a solution that will create a first-class health facility and a lasting legacy,” he said.

“With approval granted we can now focus completely on our next major milestone of financial close in early 2015, after which we can progress construction in earnest.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2015, with acute services transferring to the new building in early 2018.

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