Contracts have been signed on the first integrated, stand-alone dental hospital and dental school to be built in the UK for almost 40 years and work will start on site next month.
The landmark development, led by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, together with its partners the University of Birmingham, Birmingham and Solihull LIFT (BaS LIFT) their private sector partner Prime plc and Calthorpe Estates, was granted detailed planning permission in December 2012 for the site, which is the former home of BBC Pebble Mill studios.
The development is seen as highly strategic for the city, being a key element of the new Edgbaston Medical Quarter and further enhances the city’s reputation as a hub of Medicine, Learning and Life Sciences.
The development of the 1.23-hectare (3.05-acre) site will see a new four-storey dental hospital and school of dentistry constructed, with a build cost of £34m. Totalling 15,465 sqm, it will house a range of services for the public including walk-in emergency dental care, Restorative, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Orthodontics and Paediatric Dentistry.
The public will access all dental services in one wing of the building with a second wing providing world-class research facilities and a modern learning environment for more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate students and trainees.
The existing dental hospital at St Chad’s Circus is more than 50 years old and the new building, designed by healthcare design specialists One Creative Environments Ltd, will not only provide a state-of-the-art clinical environment for patients’ treatment but also world-class teaching facilities. As an integral part of the University of Birmingham’s School of Dentistry, students will be better located for the main Edgbaston campus and medical school, allowing for improved integration of facilities.
Tracy Taylor, chief executive of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust said: “The new Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry is a symbol of everything we want to achieve as a provider of high quality healthcare services. We are committed to working with our partners to provide excellent care and treatment for all the communities we serve in accessible locations, fit-for-purpose for modern healthcare provision. It is very pleasing that construction work can now begin and we are a significant step closer to welcoming staff, students and members of the public to share in the benefits of this exciting development.”
Professor Philip Lumley, head of the School of Dentistry at the University of Birmingham said: “As international leaders in research, teaching and clinical service within dentistry, the University of Birmingham School of Dentistry welcomed the opportunity to work with our partners and is delighted to have reached this milestone. We look forward to continuing to work with Birmingham Dental Hospital and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust to deliver this project, and further develop innovations that will underpin the oral and dental healthcare of the people in the city and region.”
Ewan Forsyth, Development Director for BaS LIFT said: “I am excited to have reached this latest milestone for such a significant development and it demonstrates how successful the collaboration between the partners has been. Being the first new integrated dental school and hospital in the UK for decades it is sure to attract regional, national and international interest. Having a facility that compares to the best in the world considerably strengthens Birmingham’s credentials as a centre of medical and dental excellence.”
Barry Cockcroft, The Chief Dental Officer for England said:“This demonstrates the confidence people have in the university and NHS teams in Birmingham to deliver high quality education for dental students and services for patients. The design of the building is innovative and will provide a great opportunity to integrate dental treatment, learning and research in a modern, state-of-the-art environment.”
Jason Whittall, Associate Director, One Creative Environments Ltd said: “Getting the scheme to this stage has required a huge effort by all the stakeholders. It has been a challenging task but we have been delighted with the enthusiastic input from the wide cross-section of project stakeholders who have worked with us during the detailed design stage to create a strong building identity that will give the new facility visual impact throughout the building’s interior design, wayfinding, signage and colours.”
Dr Sarah Raper, Community Health Partnerships Executive Director commented: “The new Birmingham Dental Hospital is one of the largest and most exciting LIFT projects in the country. When it opens, I am certain that the project will be valued by both patients and the health care professionals who will work and study there.”
Sean Bowles, Managing Director of Galliford Try Central said: “We thank all our partners for their hard work and determination to see this project through to this point where we can begin construction. We are proud to play our part in providing these excellent new facilities for the benefit of the students who pass through the doors and the wider community in the West Midlands.”
Ralph Minott, Director of Development at Calthorpe Estates added: “Calthorpe Estates has worked with Birmingham City Planning team now for ten years to realise a joint ambition for the strategic framework for Pebble Mill as a key destination for medicine and Life Sciences. Our partnership with BaS LIFT and the City Planners for the new Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry has been a perfect fit to that ambition, and we congratulate BaS LIFT on achieving Financial Close to complete their exciting proposals. Calthorpe Estates will kick start Phase 2 of Pebble Mill’s £3.5million infrastructure works to complete the services, estate road and public realm alongside the Dental Hospital construction. We are looking forward to seeing the realisation of Pebble Mill, with the future Circle Health private hospital and other medical and life sciences facilities, as a world class destination for health and life sciences.”