St cats
Photography by Infinite 3d Ltd (

 Work is almost complete at the site of a former Victorian workhouse that is being transformed into a state-of-the art health complex.

The £32m private/public sector project to redevelop St. Catherine’s in Birkenhead is due for completion in the Spring.

Some facilities are already open for business at the site which is being driven forward by Wirral NHS and property company Prime plc.
Under the terms of the Shared Investment Agreement, Prime contributed £13.2m towards capital costs and will receive £1m a year rent on the sections of the site occupied by Wirral NHS as part of a full repair and insuring lease.
The site includes a four-storey 11.100 sq metres eco-friendly main building that will provide an extensive range of services for 750,000 patients a year.
The primary care trust worked with Integrated Health Projects to carry out the scheme under NHS ProCure 21+ arrangements.
As part of the redevelopment, more than 500 non clinical staff moved out to other buildings in central Birkenhead.

Although the workhouse dating back to 1861 has been demolished some features have been retained such as the gatehouse and an archway and the original St Catherine’s Church.

St Catherine’s was in the headlines for the wrong reasons recently when the Metropolitan Police disclosed allegations of sex abuse by Jimmy Savile have been made.

The scheme has used a lease structure more common in commercial property and may herald the way forward as the government seeks to move away from Private Finance Initiative.
Leighton Chumbley, Group Chief Operating Officer for Prime plc, said “The adoption of a new model of funding illustrates the increasingly dynamic nature of the healthcare property sector and the continued investor appetite for secure government-backed leases.
“A freedom from established ways of thinking and a new model of ownership meant we were able to get the project on site in December 2009 at what was widely considered a tough time for funding new developments.”
Designed by healthcare specialists, One Creative Environments Ltd, the centre comprises five individual wings linked together by an internal street which joins all the clinical areas into a single entity.

Completion of St Catherine’s Health Centre is expected in the first half of 2013 and will include a walk in centre, two GP practices, outpatient clinics, as well as drug, alcohol and self harm services.




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