Land acquisition paves the way for Great Western Hospital expansion

Left to right: Julian Auckland-Lewis, Way Forward Programme Director: Freya Pope, Senior Project Officer for Way Forward Programme; Kevin McNamara, Chief Executive,Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has completed the purchase of 5.5 hectares of land, allowing it to take the next steps in its strategic development plans.

The Trust, advised by Avison Young, has signed a deal to buy the parcel of land next to the Great Western Hospital site from housing developers Persimmon Homes and Redrow Thames Valley.

The Trust has been able to purchase this expansion land following a successful bid for £30million of government funding in 2018. The purchase of this land creates a strategic opportunity for future development on the GWH NHS FT site, to improve services and ensure the Trust can meet the demand created by Swindon and North Wiltshire’s rapid population growth.

The purchase of the land has been managed as part of the Trust’s ‘Way Forward Programme’, under which a series of hospital improvement projects are being taken forward. These projects will enable the relocation of non-acute services to the expansion land, which will facilitate Urgent and Emergency Care (U&EC) capacity expansion in the main hospital, and will include the development of an Integrated Rehabilitation Facility (IRF).

Kevin McNamara, Chief Executive at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a really exciting step forward in our plans to expand and improve our healthcare services for the people of Swindon – securing this land is an investment in Swindon.  It is important not just for today but for future generations given a growing and aging population.

“We want to use this land to develop health and care facilities on the Great Western Hospital site and now that we will secure the land, our attention and our work turns to securing funds to build and expand our services onto it.”

Gordon Isgrove, Principal at Avison Young, advising the Trust on the purchase said: “The land has extant outline planning consent for hospital and healthcare uses, allowing Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to move forward with its ambitious expansion plans in line with the wider growth of Swindon. It has been a very positive and collaborative approach throughout the acquisition with both Persimmon and Redrow supporting this important project.”

The option to purchase the parcel of land was made available to the Trust as part of the developers’ 2011 planning application through Swindon Borough Council. The on-going mixed-use development on the remainder of the site comprises 890 dwellings, under construction by Persimmon Homes and Redrow Homes.

Further developments will follow over the coming years and could include a new out-patient and diagnostic facility and a ‘high-tech’ cancer centre which will also sit on the expansion land.

These exciting plans will follow the Radiotherapy Centre and new Urgent Treatment Centre developments – both of which are already underway.

Julian Roper, Managing Director Designate of Persimmon Homes Wessex, said: “We are delighted that this parcel of land is now in the hands of GWH and that work can begin on their exciting expansion plans.

The new and improved services at the hospital, including the construction of a Rehabilitation Centre of Excellence, will be a real asset to the community being developed at Badbury Park.”

Charles Rafferty, Land Director for Redrow Thames Valley, said: “We’re delighted that the land next to Great Western Hospital will be put to good use and help the Trust expand its facilities to provide services for generations to come. Here at Redrow, we strive to create thriving communities, which is why it was so important to us that the land was made available for the hospital expansion. With our Badbury Park development just a stone’s throw away, the hospital is somewhere that members of our community already work and indeed, may require services from in the future.”