An official turf cutting ceremony has officially marked the start of work on site for the new £11 million Meir Primary Care Centre.
Rob Flello, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South officially cut the turf with Graham Urwin Chief Executive of NHS Stoke on Trent, Ann Pursey Chief Executive of Prima 200, Steve Sprackling Development Director at Prime plc, the new centre’s GPs, local councillors and Meir community supporters.
Contracts were signed earlier this year by partners NHS Stoke on Trent, Prima 200 and Prime plc for work to start.
The new Meir Primary Care Centre will add greatly to the healthcare provision in Meir by offering a wide range of healthcare services under one roof.
The 2,945 sqm centre brings together six local GP practices and will incorporate a wide range of health services, these include: district nursing, health visiting, school nursing, specialist nursing, contraception and sexual health services, paediatric and adult physiotherapy, a dental access centre, and an on-site community pharmacy.
Designed in consultation with patients and staff by healthcare building specialists One Creative Environments Ltd, the new centre will predominantly use traditional red brick in line with residents’ wishes for a traditional finish.
To add presence to the centre and main access, which is on the corner of the busy Weston Road and A50 roundabout, the entrance will be topped by a two-storey high copper frame that is filled with louvres – an architectural feature providing shading to the windows behind to reduce glare. A curved front façade will help to compliment the curved four-storey building opposite the site.
In acknowledgment of the site’s former use, the rear courtyard garden will feature the stone effect coat-of-arms that adorned the entrance to the King’s Arms Public House, while a carved wooden crest from the pub will be displayed in the health centre’s main waiting area.
As well as contributing significantly to the regeneration of the community landscape, the development will also incorporate a range of green features in pursuit of the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Excellent rating. 15% of the centre’s energy needs will be met by renewable sources such as solar energy and air source heat pumps.
Rob Flello said: “This will be a fantastic facility for the local community and I am delighted that work is getting underway. Great credit should be given to all partners in providing a centre which will make a huge contribution to healthcare provision in the area.”
Ann Pursey said: “By working closely with the local community, the Primary Care Trust and Prime we have together been able to create a health centre fit for the 21st century.”
Steve Sprackling added: “This new centre will act as an important focal point for the local community, is a significant regeneration project and will offer enhanced health services.”
The building is due to be completed late autumn 2011.