South Scotland

Princess Royal opens Dumfries hospital and Kirkcudbright gallery

Official opening Image copyright NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Image caption The Princess Royal carried out the official opening of the new facility

The Princess Royal has carried out the official opening of a new multi-million pound hospital in southern Scotland.

The first patients moved into the Dumfries Infirmary in December last year.

The ceremony was held at the Garroch roundabout site which replaced the old facility on the town's Bankend Road.

Following the event at the hospital the royal visitor moved on to Kirkcudbright to officially open a major new art gallery in the town.

Image copyright NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Image caption The royal visitor was taken on a tour of the 344-bed facility

Work officially started on the new hospital in June 2015.

The construction phase was completed on budget and on time last year by the High Wood Health consortium which included Laing O'Rourke.

Staff, patients and medical facilities transferred to the 344-bed hospital in early December.

Image copyright NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Image caption The official opening was said to be the culmination of a "lot of hard work"

NHS Dumfries and Galloway's chief operating officer Julie White said the official opening was the culmination of a "lot of hard work" to deliver a "fantastic new hospital".

The royal visit to the region continued with a trip to officially open the new art gallery in Kirkcudbright.

The facility opened its doors to the public in early June, and Dumfries and Galloway Council's deputy leader Rob Davidson said he was "absolutely delighted" to welcome the Princess Royal.

Image copyright Colin Hattersley
Image caption The gallery opened to the public in Kirkcudbright last month

"It gives the gallery the prominence and significance for the whole country that we really set out to achieve," he said.

"It was always quite an ambition I think for a little town in the south west of Scotland to have an art gallery of national significance.

"I think we have delivered that in the quality of the place itself.

"The fact that we have an official royal opening is really the seal of approval that what we have created is something which is genuinely a nationally significant venue."

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