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First spade hits the ground at health campus

 Published on: 20th October 2017   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

Watford Health Campus partners met on site recently to mark the start of construction work on the first phase of the scheme – a new road to improve access to Watford Hospital. Dorothy Thornhill, elected mayor of Watford, Jac Kelly, interim chief executive at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Leigh Thomas, managing director from Kier Property celebrated the milestone by joining together to put the first spade in the ground. They also took the opportunity to meet some of the team from VolkerFitzpatrick, the contractors delivering the £18.5million new road that will speed up journey times to and from the hospital for emergency vehicles as well as patients, visitors and staff.  The road will open in autumn 2016. Commenting on the milestone Mayor Thornhill said:  “It is great to see things really starting to happen on the Health Campus and to know that, in just over a year’s time, it will be easier and quicker to get to our hospital, which will make a big difference.  Now it is onwards with other parts of the scheme including a purpose built business area for new, local jobs.” Ms Thomas said:  “We are delighted that the provision of the new road is underway and this marks the start of the development of the wider scheme.  We are excited to be working with the council and the Trust to regenerate this area in west Watford and are looking forward to delivering the rest of this development with the next phase starting later this year. The NHS granted the trust which runs Watford Hospital £7million towards supporting the cost of the road, with the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) contributing a further £6million from its Growing Places Fund, in recognition of the importance of the Watford Health Campus scheme to the local economy. Over the next 15 – 20 years, the Health Campus will transform 65 acres of land surrounding Watford Hospital, creating an attractive new community that will deliver over 1,000 new jobs, 750 homes and local retail and leisure facilities, The plans for the area also include new public open realm, play spaces and green infrastructure that will open up the Colne River Valley, bringing benefits to those working and visiting the hospital as well as to new and existing local residents.

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