Work begins at Ellen Badger Hospital site - but what about Shipston Medical Centre? - The Stratford Observer

Work begins at Ellen Badger Hospital site - but what about Shipston Medical Centre?

Stratford Editorial 6th Oct, 2022 Updated: 6th Oct, 2022   0

WORK to redevelop the Ellen Badger Hospital site in Shipston is finally under way – but the possibility of a new medical centre opening on the site still hangs in the balance.

Bulldozers have moved in to knock down the mortuary building on the site in Stratford Road as South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) announced a full programme of work which will eventually see the existing Ellen Badger Hospital replaced by a multi-million pound, multi-purpose health facility.

This involves all pre-construction work – including the last part of the asbestos removal – being completed this month.

December will see the demolition of part of the old hospital building, an order placed for the main construction works and the base work for construction begin.

While in February, the main construction programme is to commence.

But ambitious plans for the redevelopment of the site, first mooted in 2017, have been beset by problems from the outset.

In June 2020, SWFT published its finalised plans for a £17million redevelopment of the site – which would see the no longer fit-for-purpose hospital building demolished and a new hospital, GP surgery and health and well-being centre built in its place. However, only a few months later the original plan was replaced with a two-phase scheme instead.

The new surgery and well-being centre would go ahead in the first phase but the hospital was relegated to phase two with no guarantees it would even go ahead.

Planning permission for a new £4.5million medical centre on the site was granted in March this year and SWFT was all set to appoint a contractor to carry out the work, but in July the Trust announced the project had stalled over funding.

SWFT said costs for the £4.5million project had suffered an increase of around 50 per cent and were still rising. As a result the medical centre project was no longer financially viable in its current design.

And now it appears SWFT are pressing ahead with construction work on site with no certainty the new Shipston Medical Centre will be included.

A spokesperson said: “In the previous plans, the equivalent of one floor was proposed for Shipston Medical Centre. In the building that is now going ahead, this space will still be available and the practice are considering whether they are able to take it up.”

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