A PROJECT to build an emergency hospital in Northumberland is bringing £28m into the local economy, health chiefs say.
Multi-national firm Lend Lease was last year appointed as the main contractor to build the new hospital at Cramlington which will serve people in North Tyneside and Northumberland.
The firm, along with the hospital’s operators Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, are aiming to use local contractors wherever possible, with Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES), based at Cobalt Business Park awarded a £27m contract to complete the installation of all the mechanical and electrical services in the new hospital during the two-and-a-half year build.
Operations director Geoff Ritzema said: “BBES are delighted to be involved in such a prestigious project which will be run from our local office on Cobalt Business Park.
“BBES have had offices in the North East area for over 70 years with all of our staff, electrical, mechanical and labour coming from the local area.
“Our works will commence during June 2013 and we expect to peak at a labour figure of approximately 150 operatives. This labour force will be drawn from the local area with recruitments expected.”
Owen Pugh of Dudley, near Cramlington, has won a contract worth £700,000 to do bulk excavation and civil engineering works on the site. The company has employed local people and is using recycled or quarried aggregate from North Shields and Whitburn.
Company chairman John Dickson said: “We have taken on 14 new employees in the last six months, some of whom were unemployed so we feel we are doing our bit to help beat the recession by giving jobs to local people.
“We are delighted to be involved in this venture that will not only help the local economy but will also provide a fantastic emergency care hospital for the people of the area.” Other local companies have won contracts worth about £300,000 in total. Jim Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is good news for the local area. I am delighted that in the process of building a fantastic new hospital for our patients. We are also helping people in the area by providing much needed jobs.”
Gordon Anderson, executive general manager for Lend Lease, said: “Winning this contract is a great result for Lend Lease, and we are pleased to see so many local companies coming on board as sub-contractors.
“We are excited about working with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to bring economic sustainable benefit and a legacy of skills and careers to the local community.”