Contractors for a state-of-the-art Barrow care facility worth £12m have pledged to try and recruit more local workers, as the project begins to take shape.
Work began on the primary care facility which sits on the site of the former Alfred Barrow school back in March and will be completed by April 2019, with patients expected to flood through the doors in May.
The Duke Street centre will bring a number of services together, improving patient experience by housing GP surgeries, a pharmacy and community health services whilst preserving the oldest part of the Victorian Alfred Barrow School building.
Project Director Tim Holliday, of CCL Solutions has been involved with the scheme since 2014 and has helped pull all of the relevant strands into place.
He said: “This is bringing all the health sectors together so they can work together to make sure patients get seen by the right people at the right time and keep them out of hospital.
“There will be GPs, mental health services, physio, it should be a one-stop-shop.”
The Cumbrian-based consulting firm are involved in a number of projects currently taking place across the county, including work on Carlisle’s new cancer and specialise in health.
Mr Holliday added: “The ground workers are local, we want to keep this as local as possible and we have tried to get as many local contractors as we can.”
The man bringing the plans to life, is project manager, Richard Callaghan, from construction company ESH.
He said: “We have 22 site workers now but when we are at the peak, we will have around 100 members of staff.
“The centre is well needed. I’ve been involved since the beginning and it’s nice to see it all come to fruition.
“This is the third listed building I have worked on it and it is the biggest challenge we have because of health and safety.”
Mr Callaghan said the former school’s basement floor had already been pulled up and work was well underway inside the grade II listed building.
Physio services will be housed on the ground floor of the former school, with NHS administration staff and podiatry on the first floor.
A number of GP surgeries including Abbey Road Surgery, Atkinson Health Centre and Risedale Surgery will set up shop in the newly-constructed building.
The 5,000 sqm site will also house the North West Ambulance Service, Cumbria Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and BAE Systems.