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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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West Cumberland Hospital rebuild work on schedule

Work on west Cumbria’s new hospital is taking shape, with the main skeleton of the building – including walls and roof – now largely in place.

West Cumberland rebuild photo
Work is underway on the interior of the hospital

Fitting out of the interior is now underway, with construction work remaining on track to be finished by December 2014.

Developer Laing O’Rourke has been using a process known as design for manufacture and assembly. This means panels are made off site, at a factory in Worksop, then transported to Whitehaven and assembled.

Hospital bosses say this has this saved time and money, as well as being safer and more environmentally friendly.

All the exterior walls have been fitted with the windows already in place, as well as channels for services like electricity, water and gas. In areas of the hospital where the structure has been completed, the internal fit out has already begun.

Steve Kinninmonth, project manager for Laing O’Rourke, said: “It’s really exciting to see the structure nearing completion and on programme.

“It’s fantastic to see some of the real benefits our design for manufacture and assembly strategy can bring to a project such as this with the structure, envelope and services manufactured off site in factory controlled conditions. This gives us greater control over quality and allows us to remain on programme through some challenging weather conditions.

“Once the product is ready to come out of the factory it is then transported to Whitehaven and we have a great team here to ensure we complete the build to the highest possible quality.”

Les Morgan, director of West Cumberland Hospital, said: “We are delighted that significant progress is being made to ensure the building work in on track.

“Our aim is to deliver this new hospital to the people of west Cumbria on time and to the highest specification so that we can improve patient experience.”

After years in the planning, work began on the new build phase of the redevelopment at the start of the year – after final contracts were signed in December. Once the new build phase is complete the remainder of the hospital will start to undergo refurbishment in early 2015.

The whole project will cost about £90 million.

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