Plans to build £12 million education campus on the site of 'super hospital' in the Black Country

Proposals have been put forward to build a £12 million education campus on the site of a new "super hospital" in the Black Country.

The Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick
The Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick

The facility would be situated at the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital in Grove Lane, Smethwick, which will open in 2023.

The site will aim to train the healthcare professionals of the future alongside dietitians, occupational therapists and other similar careers.

The project is still in the initial stages of consultation – but could open in 2024 to cater for 1,280 students if the proposals are backed.

Lawrence Kelly, Learning Works Lead, said: "This is an exciting project which will primarily be focused on training the healthcare professionals of the future as well as those in allied professions such as dietitians, occupational therapists and operating department practitioners.

"It will act as a key gateway into employment for the wider community. Not only will we be able to teach to a high standard, the building will also house new specialist equipment linked to medical training.

"It will cover training from entry level to Level 7 skills, focusing on widening participation in education as well as targeting hard to reach groups such as those who are homeless, out of work, or refugees with transferable skills.

"We will have places for 1,280 students and the five-storey building will also include a café as well as teaching and meeting rooms."

The project is a collaboration between Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which is building the Midland Met, Aston University, Sandwell College, the University of Wolverhampton, Sandwell DWP and Sandwell Council.

Funding has already been secured by the council and a drop-in session for residents nearby to speak to those involved in the project is being held on Friday at the Learning Works, on Unett Street in Smethwick, from 10am to 4pm.

Lawrence added: “We are seeking the views of key community representatives and organisations. It’s important that we ensure local voices are heard so that we can shape this educational facility to reflect the needs of our community.”

The news comes after it was revealed the hospital, which had been due to open in 2018, was forced to push back its opening date of next year until 2023.

Chiefs cited a lack of building materials, construction workers and fire regulations for the latest delay.

For more information about the education campus project and to share your views email Ashley.walters@igloo.uk.net

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