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Friday, 24 October 2014

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£11m Cockermouth hospital starts to take shape

It has been more than 15 years in the making but Cockermouth’s new £11 million community hospital is finally taking shape.

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UNDER WAY: Cockermouth’s new hospital, on Isel Road

The steel frame for part of Cockermouth Community Hospital is now in place off Isel Road.

Constructors Robertson said that the development was on track for completion in spring next year.

Dr John Howarth, GP at Castlegate Surgery in the current hospital, said: “It will be a fantastic boost for the town after the 2009 floods.

“It’s after a 15-year battle and we have had literally hundreds of meetings to take this forward. We had our first meeting to get a new premises back in 1997 so it’s really pleasing to finally see it being built.

“We will have state-of-the-art healthcare premises and the ability to meet the challenges over the next 20 years.”

Dr Howarth was among those who marched through Cockermouth in 2006 against plans to close local cottage hospitals. Campaigners forced an announcement in 2008 to develop rather than close local hospitals.

The new hospital will be 4,000 square metres and is being built on land next to the current Isel Road site, which is more than 100 years old.

It will combine GP and community hospital services. Work started at the beginning of May.

The hospital will have two floors, with a raised entrance meaning people will enter on the first floor and be taken by lift down to the ground floor. There will be a roof garden and cafe, and doors from rooms on the first floor will lead out to garden areas.

Phil Smith, senior quantity surveyor for Robertson, said: “We are very happy with how things are going. We have a good relationship with the Cumbria primary care trust and have weekly progress meetings with them.

A temporary 20-space car park was opened on Monday at the back of the current hospital, which can be accessed off Oaktree Crescent.

Have your say

The whole project is wonderful for Cockermouth and the surrounding area but what are the long term car parking plans ? Parking at the moment is a complete shambles and safety hazard with cars turning and elderly people having to walk a long way down a steep pavement after having to park way up the hill. If this had been a freezing winter with hazardous conditions on the road and pavement with snow and ice it could have been lethal trying to get to see the doctor. The yellow lines have made things even more difficult as most of the legal spaces left on the road are taken up by hospital and surgery staff. No one is blaming them for parking where they do but they will also need to go on having somewhere to park in the future too.
Going to the sports centre now involves going in, getting a car park ticket from reception then going back to put it in the car windscreen as a result of the new amalgamated doctors surgeries.
I am only thankful I don't live in one of the nearby streets!
Basically I would just like to know what provisions are being made for parking one the new hospital is in place?

Posted by Julia Fisher on 7 January 2013 at 22:20

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