Work has begun on the construction of a new £7m medical centre in Bewdley.
Set to open in summer 2016, the Dog Lane facility will include a pharmacy, 25 consulting and treatment rooms, meeting spaces, dedicated administration offices, specialist baby changing areas, and the latest medical technology which will allow doctors to carry out minor operations.
The 25,000 sq ft, three-storey building, will be a community hub which also houses the town’s relocated library and a public café – with additional space set aside for future expansion.
Work on the state-of-the-art medical centre, which has seen overwhelming public backing since plans for the Dog Lane site were first tabled in December 2012, was set underway by Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier and district councillor, John Campion. It marked the culmination of 10 years’ hard work by local stakeholders to secure a new medical centre development in the town.
Dr Matt Davis, who has led the project for Wyre Forest Health Partnership alongside development partner Matrix Medical, said the long-awaited milestone was the first real step in providing the people of Bewdley with a ‘world-class’ medical facility.
Dr Davis said: “It is fantastic to see work beginning on the new medical centre – an ambitious project that will deliver 21st century facilities for Bewdley and exactly what local people want – a modern medical facility in the heart of the town.
“The current medical centre prevents us from adding any new services and limits our ambition. But that will completely change when the new facility opens next summer.
“The new townhouse-style building will be far more welcoming for patients. At more than double the size of the current, outdated surgery, it will be spacious and will enable us to deliver new services and take on more patients as the local population grows.
“Delivery of this long-awaited scheme has been a real team effort and only been possible thanks to the ongoing support of the NHS, alongside the persistence of Wyre Forest District Council, Worcestershire County Council and numerous local supporters”.
Endorsing the development, Mark Garnier MP, added: “I am delighted that the delivery of the new Bewdley Medical Centre is now underway. The team worked hard to overcome many obstacles and as a result, Bewdley will have a first-class medical centre delivering a host of new services. This excellent example of the community working with the staff at the medical centre and the planners has resulted in the whole town benefiting at many different levels. I look forward to the centre being opened in due course.”
Cllr John Campion, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration, said: “Keeping the new medical centre in the heart of the town is vital to support the town’s economy, as well as delivering a wider range of health services for local people.
“The District Council has worked closely with the medical centre team to deliver the new centre. We recognise that there will be some disruption during the works, and are working hard to minimise that.”
During the 12-month build, 99 car park spaces will be closed in a section of Dog Lane Car Park but Wyre Forest District Council has already taken a number of measures to ensure minimum disruption.
This includes an extension to Dog Lane Car Park completed earlier this year and plans to increase the capacity of the Gardners Meadow Car Park.
Once the new build is complete, the current Load Street premises will be demolished by Wyre Forest District Council and replaced by a new 49-space car park – meaning an eventual overall increase in parking for the town of 39 spaces.
The development is being supported by NHS England and constructed by Benniman who will be helping the practice to provide regular site updates during the build period.