Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Bangor and Comber set for £24m healthcare boost

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Two new developments costing a combined total of £24million look set to transform healthcare across North Down and Ards.

In Bangor, healthcare development company Primacure has confirmed plans to build a modern community health village costing £18m.

The company said it is about to submit a planning application for the 8,500 sq m facility, to be situated at the junction of the Rathgael Road and the Newtownards Road.

The Bangor Community Health Village will create up to 270 positions when it is fully operational as well as providing 230 jobs during the construction phase.

The company said that the health village would bring innovative and leading edge health and wellbeing facilities to the North Down area.

The facilities will include modern premises for GPs, but at this stage the company said it could not “for commercial reasons” disclose the identity of the GP practice it has been working with.

The site has already been purchased by Primacure and building is expected to be completed within 12 months of achieving planning permission.

Mark Gordon, chief executive of Primacure, said: “We will start construction immediately after we get planning permission for the Rathgael Road site.

“We have had significant consultations with our GP partners. Their input to the design of their own new premises, as well as the wider project, has been fundamental from the outset.

“Each of our planned villages is uniquely created to meet carefully-researched local needs.”

The Bangor health village will house community elderly day care, 22 community beds, acute respite nursing, EMI and dementia facilities, day surgery, endoscopy as well as imaging and screening services as part of a diagnostic suite.

It will also provide a NHS dental surgery, well-being clinics, a specialist sports injuries suite and pharmacy, as well as associated healthcare retail units, crèche, and cafe.

Mr Gordon said the health village’s location would make it easily accessible to a large population and that Primacure would run a shuttle bus service around key points in Bangor town centre and the ring road.

Councillor Marion Smith said the proposals were to be welcomed.

“My understanding is that there is one to be built in Coagh (Co Antrim) with a further 16 around Northern Ireland, including Bangor, and the site size will be 8,500 sq m and will include services such as GPs, pharmacy, dentists, specialist sports injury unit as well as a commercial sector,” she said.

In Comber, healthcare company Manor Healthcare Limited has said it is to build a 52-bed nursing home on the Killinchy Road.

The aim of the £6m investment is to provide “high quality nursing care plus respite and day-care services for the local aging community”.

Mark King, director of Ballyclare-based Manor Healthcare Limited, said the planned home, which is currently at the planning stage, was in line “with the growing demand for nursing home care and assisted living”.

“They are unique in that they have been designed in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Dementia Services in providing the most up-to-date delivery of care.”

Planning Service confirmed it had received a planning application for the Comber facility and that a decision would be confirmed in due course.

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