£5.2m loan boost to Blue Zone flats plan

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

Paul Adams

●● 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

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