Northern Ireland

£250m children's hospital for Belfast announced

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Media captionThe announcement was made by Finance Minister Simon Hamilton

Northern Ireland Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has announced that a new children's hospital is to be built in Belfast.

The £250m facility will replace the existing hospital on the Royal site in Belfast.

The announcement was made as part of a reallocation of unspent funds, mainly from the stalled A5 road project.

The Department of Health has been allocated £52m, £15.5m of which is to go towards the new hospital.

It is expected to be completed by 2020/2021.

The department has also been allocated £14m to address waiting lists.

Mr Hamilton said he had recently visited the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and was "shocked and ashamed" by the conditions.

Building on the new hospital could begin next year.

Other health projects allocated money include:

  • £1m for a paediatric centre of excellence at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry
  • £1million for a paediatric ward and ambulatory care unit at Craigavon Area Hospital.
  • £900,000 to fund the co-location of the emergency department and GP out of hours at Lagan Valley Hospital
  • £900,000 for two MRI scanners in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.
  • £3m for a new logistics and support centre for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

Mr Hamilton has also given the green light to dualling the Frosses Road section of the A26.

"The allocations I have announced today will leave a lasting economic impact on Northern Ireland, boost our economy as the recovery gathers momentum and provide assistance for vulnerable people in our society," Mr Hamilton said.

"I am especially pleased that we are able to fund a new regional children's hospital and significant strategic roads improvements."

Health Minister Edwin Poots said the money would help provide services fit for the 21st century for children.

"A replacement regional children's hospital is a major project that I have been keen to take forward, particularly as parts of the current facilities are nearly 100 years old," he said.

"Securing this additional funding from the executive provides me with the opportunity to move this much needed project forward to ensure that our children will receive their care and treatment in a modern paediatric environment."

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