Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 12th May 2021 – 6.00am.
Work has begun on a multi-million pound ambulance service hub for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) in Sandwell.
Leading property developer Stoford is delivering the 76,000 sq ft purpose-built hub, the largest hub of its kind in the country, which will eventually house about 350 operational ambulance staff working 24 hours a day.
Contractor McClaren Construction is now on the seven-acre site in Shidas Lane, Oldbury, and aims to complete the hub, which will also include a facility for the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), fleet maintenance and vehicle preparation areas, the Trust’s Education and Training Academy and central stores, next spring.
It will be open in time for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, which kicks off in July 2022, and will be used as a staging point for the Trust’s preparations for one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
Craig Cooke, WMAS Director of Strategic Operations, added: “This is an important hub for the Service not just for the Commonwealth Games but for our ongoing ability to deliver high quality care to the people of Birmingham and the Black Country.
“It will also see a major upgrade in our central stores facility, which has played such a vital role during the pandemic, but also a big step forward in facilities for our Education & Training team and the Hazardous Area Response Team.
“Talking to staff, they are excited to see the new building developed and we will be working with them to ensure it fully meets their needs.”
Tony Nash, Director at Stoford Developments, said: “This is a significant development for West Midlands Ambulance Service and an important national infrastructure project, so we’re pleased to have made a start on delivering the scheme, just a short time after we received planning approval.
“As a former quarry site that was undeveloped for 15 years, it is a technically challenging building project, so receiving financial support from the West Midlands Combined Authority to make it viable has been crucial in getting it ready for development.”
The development is the first of its kind for funding partner Assura, as it continues to expand the range of local healthcare infrastructure it supports for primary care networks and NHS Trusts.
Jonathan Murphy, Assura CEO, said: “This hub will provide a much-needed new base for emergency health services in the West Midlands. We are particularly proud to be playing our part in such an important piece of the health infrastructure that will sit around the Commonwealth Games, at a time when the eyes of the world will be on the region.”
WMAS serves a population of 5.6 million people and covers an area of more than 5,000 square miles, comprising Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and the West Midlands.
The hub will achieve the BREEAM Excellence rating and will accommodate 365 parking spaces, including ten disabled spaces and 70 ambulance spaces.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Mian picture (L-R): Craig Cooke, WMAS Director of Strategic Operations; Tony Nash, Director at Stoford Developments; and Jonathan Bishop, Bishop Property Consultants.
Stoford Developments is a privately owned company established in 1996 to specialise in occupier-led property solutions for business. The company is involved in a diverse range of commercial property developments across the UK. The company’s innovative approach to procurement ensures that it is highly competitive, delivering a quality product on time and on budget. For more information visit http://www.stoford.com.
Assura is a real estate investment trust and long-term property partner to more than 590 primary care buildings across the country, in which more than 500 GP practices operate and from which more than five million patients are served. The Assura Community Fund is supporting health-improving projects in the communities surrounding those buildings.
For more information please contact Jayne Howarth, senior PR account manager, Barques, 0121 233 2080 or the WMAS Press Office on 01384 246 496.
I’m interested as to how this will improve the ambulance service in Warwickshire. Will the current positioning and number of ambulances altered?