Liverpool

Work on stalled £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital to resume

Royal Liverpool University Hospital
Image caption Work on the new Royal Liverpool Hospital building stopped when Carillion collapsed

Building work at a stalled £335m hospital is set to restart after a new deal was signed.

Royal Liverpool Hospital was originally due to open in March 2017, but work stopped following the collapse of construction giant Carillion.

Construction is due to restart next month on the 646-bed hospital, which will be completed with public money by 2020. It is about 80% to 90% complete.

Laing O'Rourke has been appointed as the new main management contractor.

Aidan Kehoe, chief executive of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, welcomed the news.

He said: "We are delighted to announce that we, The Hospital Company, lenders and the government have all signed up to this agreement, that means construction can restart soon and that the new Royal will now be publicly funded.

"All parties have worked extremely hard to resolve the issues caused by the collapse of Carillion. "

Image caption The hospital was about 80% to 90% complete when Carillion collapsed

The hospital was originally funded under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) where companies provide money for new hospitals and then charge annual fees.

But NHS bosses announced that private finance deal was scrapped and public money would be used to complete the work.

The Department of Health and Social Care will now fund a termination payment of £42m to the original lenders.

In February, Carillion filed for compulsory liquidation with debts of about £1.5bn and local MPs called on the government to intervene.

Birkenhead MP Frank Field described the incomplete hospital as a "creaking monument to… greed" following a damning report into the "rotten corporate culture" at Carillion.

NHS bosses also revealed the new hospital was built with unsafe cladding that did not meet fire safety regulations.

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