Belfast Telegraph

Case Study 2: Huge rise in costs for delayed paediatric hospital in Belfast

 

Plans for a new Children's Hospital, at the Royal Hospital site in Belfast, were announced in October 2013.

The Children's Hospital is intended to serve the acute paediatric needs of greater Belfast and provide regional specialist paediatric services to the wider population of Northern Ireland.

Viewed as a priority by the Executive, funding commenced in 2014/15. Plans anticipated it would be completed, and opened, in July 2020, at a cost of £223m.

Lack of funding has been the main cause of delay, with early plans for a Women's and Children's Hospital failing to proceed due to capital funding constraints.

Funding allocated in 2014/15 allowed commencement of design and enabling works. Its designation as a flagship project in December 2015 provided funding certainty from 2016/17.

An addendum to the business case was approved in October 2018, setting out reasons for a 59% costs rise. These are mainly due to design changes and legislation changes introduced since the original business case was approved, inflationary uplift and construction industry pressure.

By this March, £39.4m had been spent on the project, mainly on design and enabling works. A planning application was submitted in August 2018.

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