One of the region’s leading building contractors, Surgo Construction (Surgo), has started on site with a £2 million healthcare scheme in Ferryhill, County Durham, to replace an existing branch surgery with a purpose-built, two storey development.

Working on behalf of Dr Martin Orlandi and the Ferryhill and Chilton Medical Practice, the new Chilton Health Centre will be located on a brownfield site on Tennyson Road, which was previously occupied by housing.

Designed by the multi award-winning architectural and interior design practice, Howarth Litchfield Partnership (HLP), the health centre will include ground floor consulting rooms, counselling rooms and administration and meeting rooms with a shared reception facility.

The building will also incorporate a dental practice, NHS facilities and a medical retail unit. Substantial parking will be provided on site for both staff and visitors.

Surgo was appointed after a competitive tender and the appointment serves to strengthen the contractor’s pedigree within the healthcare sector. Director, Jeff Alexander, said:

“We are pleased to be able to get this scheme underway. The site, which was formerly given over to housing, has now been cleared and provides good access for construction traffic, so we are not constrained by the proximity of other buildings, which can often be the case within a residential area.   I am confident that we will proceed as planned with completion anticipated for autumn 2015”.

Durham-based HLP has significant experience in the healthcare sector and has completed numerous award-winning new build and refurbishment projects in the County Durham area including the Sacriston Surgery, Pelton Surgery and Adan House facilities at Spennymoor. The practice is currently working with Surgo on a further GP surgery at Wheatley Hill, County Durham.

Gordon Brewis, HLP director, added: “It is good to see this project start on site after a somewhat protracted process during which we have worked closely with the planning and estates teams at Durham County Council who have been most helpful and supportive.

“Throughout the tender process we undertook a comprehensive value engineering exercise, which makes me confident we are providing a best value solution for both the NHS and our client, Dr Martin Orlandi.

“The design, which incorporates single storey and two-storey wings linked by a glazed atrium to incorporate shared reception facilities, is of a robust nature, using traditional materials to reflect the architecture of the surrounding properties. We will be submitting the building for a BREEAM assessment in the hope of achieving an Excellent rating, on completion.”

Dr Orlandi commented:

“This new health service development has been many years in planning and we have encountered numerous obstacles in the process. We shall now be able to provide a first class and modern one –stop health centre for the residents of Chilton and the surrounding area. This building will be an integral part of the current regeneration of the town and eagerly anticipated by the local population.”

Other members of the professional team include Faithful+Gould as cost consultants; Cundall, M&E design consultants; CAD 21, BREEAM assessment; and BDN – structural engineers.