Solving location and development challenges for the largest NHS LIFT healthcare project
As the first integrated, standalone dental hospital and dental school to be built in the UK for almost 40 years, this £50m award-winning, landmark building is transforming services for 1.5 million patients.
With Prime on board as the development and investment partner, the scheme was able to secure essential funding and site feasibility solutions that previous attempts had failed to unlock, creating value for the Trust and securing the hospital’s future.
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.
Barry Cockcroft, The Chief Dental Officer for England
The original dental hospital in Birmingham was more than 50 years old and with facilities rapidly becoming outdated, service demand rising, and maintenance costs spiralling, the building was no longer fit for purpose.
While various partners had pushed the business case for a replacement teaching hospital, these efforts had proved fruitless. In the wake of rising cuts to NHS funding the project desperately needed funding from outside the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC).
Prime was appointed to unlock a number of these challenges as a development partner in this local LIFTCo. From the outset, we were able to re-ignite the scheme and speed up the process, working on the design with One Creative Environments Ltd and securing the BBC’s iconic Pebble Mills Studio. Large enough to accommodate the needs of the NHS and academic partner University of Birmingham alike, Prime identified this site due to its good access and transport links, space for parking, and its ability to form part of a wider healthcare and life sciences quarter in the area.
Prime led on engagement activities with staff, patients and students to ensure the building would accurately meet the needs of the people that would be using it, and also on communication and consultation with the local community. As a result, there were no objections at the final planning stage. Prime also solved a challenge raised during the development process, in facilitating the creation of a new brand identity. With two organisations uniting in this symbolic regional centre, Prime successfully brought stakeholders together to create a unifying logo and communications plan.
Prime specialises in delivering value-for-money funding solutions to meet client requirements and this project and the contract structure created by Prime means that this is one of the largest public sector facilities to be built using a property lease agreement, rather than PFI. By adopting LIFT’s Lease Plus Agreement model, BCHC rents the building and benefits from life cycle funding for ongoing facilities management and maintenance.
The resulting 15,000 sq metre, four-storey dental hospital with its award-winning design, demonstrates how Prime’s expertise can deliver complex mixed-use health and education projects and facilitate different partners working towards a common aim.