BUSINESSES across the North East are being invited to tender for millions of pounds worth of work as a new emergency hospital begins to take shape in Northumberland.
Work has now started on the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington which, during the two-year build, is expected to generate more than £72m for the North East economy.
Around £3m will be ploughed back every month through construction costs, materials and labour.
In September, Lend Lease was appointed as building contractors and with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is now inviting local companies to tender for work which will be sub contracted.
A drop-in meet-the-buyer event is being held at the trust’s headquarters at Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, on Friday from 12noon-5pm.
Lend Lease has already sublet some work packages to local firms such as Balfour Beatty, Owen Pugh, Middleton Forge and Protector.
Now further work packages will be sub-contracted covering everything from structural work, plumbing, electrics, roofing, fencing and landscaping, to interior fit-outs and decoration, including flooring and signage.
Jim Mackey, chief executive at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “From the outset we have been clear that we wanted the construction of our new specialist emergency care hospital to benefit the local economy and we have asked our contractors Lend Lease to use North East workers and suppliers wherever possible.
“This is one of the biggest construction projects taking place in the North East at the moment and work over the coming months will create much-needed jobs for local people at a time when the economy is struggling.
“We have a whole host of sub-contracting opportunities available and we’re encouraging firms from across the region to come along and find out more at our meet-the-buyer event.”
North East Chamber of Commerce director of policy, Ross Smith, said: “This sort of large-scale infrastructure development provides a great opportunity for North East firms, particularly smaller firms and sub-contractors.
“Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust must be congratulated for its commitment to attracting regional firms to carry out this important work.”
The new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital will be the first of its kind in the country to have specialists on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It will have an A&E department, admission and in-patient wards and hi-tech diagnostics and critical care, as well as a short-stay paediatric facility and consultant-led maternity unit.
The hospital is part of a £200m investment by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which will also improve services and facilities at Wansbeck and North Tyneside general hospitals and includes the rebuilding of community hospitals in Berwick and Haltwhistle.