Watford Health Campus partners are celebrating the successful completion of the legal and financial agreement that marks a major step forward in the delivery of this exciting long term project.
Through the agreement, Watford Borough Council, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Kier Investment Ltd have secured an innovative arrangement that will see them working together well into the future to improve and rejuvenate the area in and around the Cardiff Road Industrial site and the Watford General Hospital.
The Health Campus will be delivered through a joint venture, known as a Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV), which will see Kier Property, as the private sector partner, provide the investment and expertise to develop the land on behalf of the council and WHHT. Not only does this mean that the Campus project will now make real progress, it also guarantees the council and Trust remain fully involved – ensuring the scheme delivers a high quality development that transforms what is currently an unappealing, old industrial site into a vibrant, attractive new community.
Commenting on the signing, Dorothy Thornhill MBE, Elected Mayor of Watford said: ‘As partners we are all fully committed to making the Health Campus the best it can be for Watford. You only have to visit the site to see how desperately it needs improving but we must get it right and ensure the plans make the most of this fantastic opportunity. Now that we have the LABV in place we can really push ahead with creating a masterplan for the Campus that delivers what is needed – great new homes, attractive and welcoming open spaces and a range of employment opportunities for local people. And then I know the partners will want to get out to the community to share the plans and hear their views.’
For West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, involvement in the Campus opens up significant opportunities for the modernisation and re-provision of facilities at Watford General Hospital. Samantha Jones, Chief Executive said: “This agreement opens up new opportunities and flexibility for the Trust and plans for Watford General Hospital. A vital part of the Campus is the new access road for the Hospital, which will make a real difference to our patients and visitors.”
Nigel Turner, Managing Director at Kier Property, said: ‘We are delighted to officially mark the start of our long-term relationship with Watford and our commitment to the delivery of Watford Health Campus. Over the past few months we have built strong working relationships with both the council and the Trust and we are confident that our combined efforts will deliver a first class scheme for Watford. The next key milestone for the team will be working on the master plan and more specifically the new road detail, which is critical for enhanced access to the hospital.”