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Graham completes £85m Ulster Hospital project and there's more work on way

By John Mulgrew

Northern Ireland company Graham Construction has completed an £85m development at the Ulster Hospital and is starting work on another major healthcare building.

The Co Down firm has put the finishing touches to its joint venture with the Bam Healthcare Partnership - an £85m inpatient ward block at Dundonald, the first phase of a £235m redevelopment project.

The seven-storey structure, which was designed with the "highest building and infection control standards" in mind, includes four theatres, three endoscopy suites, laboratories, a robotic pharmacy and approximately 300 rooms.

Peter Reavey, director of Graham-Bam Healthcare Partnership, said: "We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone.

"Having started the project in 2013, through successful partnering with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, the design team and our supply chain, we achieved close collaboration with all the necessary stakeholders.

"We feel that by this collaboration we have helped to deliver innovation, value and efficiency on one of the most prestigious healthcare framework projects in the UK and Ireland."

The firm is due to complete the second stage of the project by autumn 2019.

Naomi Dunbar, assistant director of strategic and capital development at the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, said: "We are delighted with the new building and look forward to commissioning and opening the building to patients in early Spring 2017."

Graham Construction has also started work on a £30m cancer treatment centre in England.

The centre forms part of the University of Reading's wider redevelopment of The Thames Valley Science Park, which aims to create up to 5,000 jobs and provide 800,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space.

Ivor Brown, senior project manager at Graham Construction, said: "This is our second project at the Thames Valley Science Park, the first being The Gateway Building, which is already on site.

"The project includes elements of off-site construction and, therefore, it is vital to have a systematic management programme in place.

"With an extensive portfolio of healthcare projects, our experienced team is looking forward to working with Proton Partners International Ltd to achieve what will prove to be a highly rewarding project."

Mike Moran, chief executive officer of Proton Partners - the healthcare company which will run the centre - said: "We are delighted that our new centre will be built at the heart of one of the most exciting health and life sciences projects in Europe.

"Located just off the M4 corridor and with connections to Heathrow, this centre will make proton beam therapy available to patients from the south of England as well as international patients."

Earlier this month, Graham Construction won a contract to build two new health centres in Scotland in a £134m project.

The Hillsborough-based firm won the deal from NHS Grampian in Aberdeen. It was the latest project in Britain for Graham, which is one of our most successful building firms.

The new Baird Family Hospital will bring together all services at the existing Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and breast and gynaecology services from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The new Anchor Centre will include day-patient and out-patient oncology and haematology services.

Graham's regional director, Gary Holmes, said: "We are privileged to be working with NHS Grampian and its stakeholders in the development of the Foresterhill Health Campus and in equipping it to offer the highest quality of care to the region for years to come."

In October, Graham announced it had secured a deal for building work worth £150m from Barnet Council in London.

Graham Construction has annual turnover of around £508m and employs 1,900 people.

The firm's latest project announcement came as a survey showed that UK construction activity hit a nine-month high in November.

But the Markit/CIPS UK Construction purchasing managers index said building costs has soared due to the weaker pound.

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