HEALTHCARE in Altrincham has received a boost with the signing of a contract which will see additional services on offer at the new £13 million hospital set to be built in the town centre.

The original plans would have seen the new hospital on Railway Street replacing services at the existing hospital on a like-for-like basis.

But following a new agreement between Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and development partner Citybranch, the trust will be taking more space and additional services will be provided at the hospital.

Adrian Roberts, finance director at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), said: “This agreement is a great way to begin 2013 and will result in a new state-of-the-art hospital for the town and a significant boost to healthcare services for people living in and around Altrincham.

“The expanded development that has now been agreed will provide us not only with modern, high quality facilities for our existing services, but also with an opportunity to develop additional services.”

The original agreement was for the Trust to occupy 4,560 square metres to accommodate services which include a minor injuries unit, a range of out-patient clinics, physiotherapy, X-ray, and blood tests. CMFT has now agreed to purchase an additional 2,263 square metres.

Health chiefs and the developer say that as well as providing extra services, this will also provide employment opportunities and bring more people in to the town centre – helping the wider regeneration of the area.

Adam Gross, managing director of Citybranch, said: “This agreement marks the culmination of many months of hard work and planning and we are now looking forward to starting on site as soon as possible.

“The new hospital will not only provide excellent healthcare facilities but will also play an absolutely crucial role in the regeneration of the wider area.

“Extra services means extra footfall, which means more people visiting the town centre. It’s good news all round and people will soon begin to see a major transformation on Railway Street.”

Altrincham and Sale West MP Graham Brady has welcomed the announcement..

The MP has been involved in campaigning for Altrincham’s hospital for several years and said: ‘I am delighted – after years of campaigning, the news that work is at last due to start on our new hospital is tremendous. Altrincham will have a modern, purpose-built facility and the area around the old site will be revitalised. This is very good news for local people.’ .

The existing hospital on Market Street will be redeveloped once all health services have been transferred to the new building.

Its Victorian façade will be retained but the site will play a key role in the regeneration of the town’s historic market quarter.

With the completion of all contracts, demolition is set to start on-site within a matter of weeks, and construction work will commence in late spring 2013. The build process itself is expected to take around 18 months with the new hospital open to the public by the end of 2014.