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Work to finally resume on Midland Metropolitan Hospital after contract agreed

By Richard Guttridge | Sandwell | Health | Published:

Work can finally re-start on the delayed Midland Metropolitan Hospital after a deal was agreed with a new contractor.

The Midland Met has been stalled for two years

Balfour Beatty has signed a contract to complete the £475m hospital after weeks of delays.

The agreement means work can finally resume on the Midland Met, on Grove Lane, Smethwick, two years after the collapse of Carillion.

The Government gave the green light for the project in October but delays on finalising a contract with Balfour have caused further frustration.

Warley Parliamentary candidate John Spellar, centre, celebrates with local councillors and residents

Workers are expected to be on site over the next few weeks. It had been hoped construction would resume this month but things will have to move quickly if that is to be the case.

However, securing the agreement before the end of the year does mean the hospital will still be on track to open by the target date of spring 2022.

John Spellar, the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Warley who has campaigned to get the project re-started, said it was "a great day for Sandwell and the West Midlands".

Richard Samuda, chairman of the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which will run the new hospital, said: “The people of Sandwell and West Birmingham have been waiting for this hospital for too long, as have our staff who are doing an incredible job delivering health care services from some buildings that are no longer best suited for modern healthcare services.

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"This news cannot come soon enough for those colleagues. Reaching this milestone is testament to the determination of trust colleagues and leaders in partner organisations, who, with the support of cross party political leaders, have enabled us to agree this contract to complete the hospital.”

Bosses from Balfour Beatty sign the contract with the trust's Richard Samuda, second right, and Toby Lewis, right

Trust chief executive Toby Lewis said: “Today is about moving on and looking to the future, as we shortly welcome the return of all works and trades to the site to complete this vital facility.

"The Commonwealth Games comes to Birmingham in 2022, and we would like to be in our new home by then, bringing our clinical teams together to deliver the best acute services for our patients and their families.”

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Dean Banks, chief executive of Balfour Beatty UK Construction Services, said: “This is a key project for the Midlands and a long-awaited moment for healthcare services in the local community. Following the successful completion of the early works phase, we are pleased that we have been entrusted to deliver the final elements of the scheme.

“Our wealth of experience and expertise will ensure that the Midland Metropolitan Hospital will service future generations for years to come.”

The state-of-the-art facility will deliver acute and emergency services currently provided at Sandwell and City hospitals.

Mr Spellar said: "This hospital will provide world-class treatment for our residents as well as jobs and opportunities. I hope it will also lead to a much needed major regeneration of the area.

"It will be welcomed by residents and staff alike who can look forward to a brighter future."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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