Work begins at new Midlands Air Ambulance base at Cosford

One of the region's most important lifesaving charities has marked a major day in its history, starting work on a dedicated new base.

Helping to break the ground at the new base are Midlands Air Ambulance chairman Roger Pemberton, front, with air operations manager Ian Jones and chief executive Hanna Sebright. Behind are Mike Jones and Glyn O'Hara of Morris Property
Helping to break the ground at the new base are Midlands Air Ambulance chairman Roger Pemberton, front, with air operations manager Ian Jones and chief executive Hanna Sebright. Behind are Mike Jones and Glyn O'Hara of Morris Property

Officials from the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity were present to see the first spade go in the ground ahead of construction work on its headquarters at Cosford.

The charity says the new facility, which has been in planning for more than four years, will provide a host of benefits for patients, staff, and fundraisers.

WATCH: Air Ambulance base work up and running

The base, off Neachley Lane, will include purpose-built environment for clinical staff, an advanced clinical simulation training room, and space for two aircraft, allowing the expansion of its service in the future.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2022.

Hanna Sebright, the chief executive of Midlands Air Ambulance, said the day had marked a major milestone for the charity.

She said: “The development of a purpose-built airbase and charity headquarters has been strategically planned for several years to improve the long-term resilience of the charity and to provide enhanced pre hospital care to people across the Midlands region. Therefore, the turf cutting ceremony was a significant milestone in bringing our vision to fruition.

“This new facility will ensure the critical care team are equipped to treat the increasingly complex patient cases and enhance our daily lifesaving service, featuring a purpose-built clinical training facility and more suitable environment for our aircrew when they return from complex, stressful and challenging air ambulance missions.”

Contractor

Representatives from the charity were joined by the main contractor for the development, Morris Property, at the event.

James West, chief operating officer at Morris Property said: “It is a privilege to be working on this important and well-planned project for such a worthy cause. Undertaking the enabling works signals a major step forward for the charity and its future across the Midlands region.”

The charity, which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, said it continues to face a number of challenges, including annual rising demand, the increased complexity of patient-needs requiring specialist skills, equipment and medicines, and the current lack of training facilities for the critical care paramedics and doctors.

The organisation said that more than 90 per cent of funding for the new development has come from major grants from organisations such as the Department for Health and Social Care and the HELP Appeal.

It said it will use a part of its "modest reserves" and carry out fundraising campaigns for specific areas of the new airbase, including the clinical simulation training suite, memory garden and community education zone.

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