Work begins on multi-million pound hospital revamp and extension

noviniti Limited director Jonathan Houlston, Director of Finance at ESNEFT Dawn Scrafield, ESNEFT Ch

noviniti Limited director Jonathan Houlston, Director of Finance at ESNEFT Dawn Scrafield, ESNEFT Chief Executive Nick Hulme and WH Smith business development manager Haley-Mae Benton, at Colchester Hospital Picture: ESNEFT - Credit: Archant

Work to extend and revamp the front of the main Colchester Hospital building has officially begun.

Foundations for the multi-million pound redevelopment are now being laid as part of the project to transform the aging building.

It follows an extensive programme of demolition and preparation on the site in Turner Road.

The extension of the main building and the Urgent Treatment Centre, including the revamp of the hospital's main entrance, is set to be completed between now and November this year.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital in Colchester, said: "We're committed to creating high quality features the community can be proud of at Colchester Hospital. "The old main entrance was cramped and wasn't particularly welcoming, but this work will change all of that.

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"The new main entrance will provide a modern, reassuring and calming environment for our patients, visitors and staff."

"There will also be significant service improvements for patients attending the new Urgent Treatment Centre, which will be part of the existing Emergency Department.

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"This is a really exciting milestone as part of our building for better care mission and we'll really start to see our new-look building taking shape now."

The building's redevelopment and extension, which is being paid for with the help of the Trust's commercial partner noviniti Ltd, will include two new buildings.

The first will be a single-storey building, designed to provide extra space for the Emergency Department.

It will also include an Urgent Treatment Centre, which is set to open in October.

The second is a larger, two-storey building which will form the main entrance to the hospital.

It will provide non-clinical hospital space on the first floor of the building, with brand new visitor facilities, shops and cafes on the ground floor.

The shops will include M&S Simply Food, WH Smith and Costa Coffee.

The League of Friends shop, which opened in 1985 and is run by volunteers, will also have a space in the building, raising additional funds for hospital.

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