A turf-cutting ceremony has marked the start of building work on a £10.5m NHS integrated health hub in Bakewell, Derbyshire.
Being constructed by Kier, the unit will provide new facilities for community health services and an ambulance service base.
Developed in partnership between Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust and East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, it will revamp health facilities for people living in Bakewell and the Derbyshire Dales.
It is due to be handed over to the NHS in late 2023 and will open to patients in early 2024.
It will provide a modern new home for community health services currently provided in the adjacent outdated 19th-century Newholme Hospital, which is earmarked for closure, and the neighbouring former ambulance station, which is being demolished to make way for the new health hub.
Prem Singh, chairman of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This investment in healthcare will help to futureproof local health service provision for the next generations of residents in the Bakewell area.
“We are delighted to be working in close partnership with our ambulance service colleagues to create integrated facilities which support the principle of joined-up care.
“It has taken a lot of planning over several years to get to this stage and we are now delivering on a facility which will be a legacy to the future health needs of the local community.”
A turf-cutting ceremony marked the start of building work on the site, with the centre due to open in early 2024
Andrew Magee, head of operations for Derbyshire at East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, added: “This is another really-exciting step in the development of the new health hub for Bakewell and we can’t wait to see it progress over the coming months.
“Not only will this new building and its modern facilities be such an improvement on our old ambulance station, but by physically sharing a space together it will undoubtedly build on our relationships and understanding of one another’s organisations and work we do to support our communities.”
Building designs have been carefully considered to be sympathetic to the heritage of the area and have been developed in conjunction with service users and staff.
Jacob Peplow, architect at Race Cottam Associates, who developed the building design, said: “Our design was carefully considered, not only to provide modern facilities, but also to reflect the area’s heritage and character, including the use of locally-sourced gritstone and limestone, and traditional design references.
“The turf-cutting ceremony represents a significant step forward in creating a high-quality facility that will benefit thousands in the community.”