£5.2m loan boost to Blue Zone flats plan
A HOSPITAL development to provide flats and offices for medical staff is set go ahead following a £5.2m funding boost.
Developer Keyworker Homes has secured a loan from Lloyds Bank to allow it to continue with phase two of the redevelopment of the old Blue Zone site at Macclesfield Hospital.
Work has started on the project which will provide accommodation and offices for medical staff, as well as 34 family homes – but the firm says it now has the funding to complete the project.
Eian Bailey, managing director of Keyworker Homes, said the development is a major boost to hospital services.
He said: “Without this money the scheme couldn’t go ahead.
“It shows confidence in Macclesfield and the development. The Blue Zone development is massively important and phase two will be a significant boost to benefit the hospital and the people of Macclesfield and beyond.
“It will put the hospital at the leading edge for attracting doctors and nurses from other parts of the country.”
The redevelopment of the Blue Zone was first mooted nearly a decade ago when East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, looked to sell off the site to help pay off its debts in a bid to achieve Foundation Status, which gives local people more say in how the hospital is run.
As part of phase one, the hospital sold six acres to Keyworker in 2010 to build 36 apartments in a Grade Two listed clock tower building and 40,000 sq ft of NHS offices.
Keyworker got planning permission for phase two in December.
The firm will convert the historic Henbury House and Ingersley Building into 36 apartments for doctors and nurses and demolish other buildings to make way for 10,000 sq ft of offices. The project is expected to be completed in November.
The rest of the site will have 34 family homes, including affordable houses.
Mark Brearley, East Cheshire NHS Trust finance director, said: “The first phase has released land which was surplus to requirements and put money back into patient care.
“The second phase will create modern residences for clinical staff, helping the trust recruit doctors and nurses and replacing ageing buildings currently in use.
“It will result in up-to-date offices and provide additional local housing, so will be of great benefit to the trust and community.
“The work is well away from the main hospital building and will not impact on patient care or result in the loss of visitor parking spaces.”
●● Eian Bailey from Keyworker Homes (left) and Jim Jones from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking on the site of the development
●● Henbury House is being made into apartments for hospital staff