High attendance at Alder Hey event

Michael Hunt

There was a high attendance at the Bidder Open Day at Alder Hey hospital where plans to create a new Children's Health Park were discussed.

More than 100 people, including a team from an American firm of architects, were among the professionals wanting to hear more about the £288m plan.

Attendees included professionals from construction companies, planning and design consultancies, architectural practices, financial institutions and engineering organisations.

Richard Glenn, project director, said: "People present commented on the turn-out as a key indicator in the project we have on offer. Some were saying they rarely see such intense interest in a building project and I am sure we can look forward to some amazing proposals coming forward in the next few months.

"A number of the firms represented have already delivered first class children's hospitals around the world. We are looking for a design that will create a hospital which does not feel like a hospital."

The scheme will create a new hospital to replace Alder Hey, which celebrates its centenary in 2014.

Amongst the attendees from the world of architecture were Aedas, Anshen & Allen, Building Design Partnership, HKS, John Cooper, Make, Murray O'Laoire/O'Connell Mahon, Ryder, Steffian Bradley, Watkins Gray, and American-based ZGF, and consultancies such as Capita Symonds.

A number of financial institutions and financial advisers were also present, including Bank of Nova Scotia, Macquarie Capital Europe, DeLoitte and Japanese-based SMBC.

Representatives of Balfour Beatty, Laing O'Rourke, Carillion Global Health, Vinci Health and Bovis Lend Lease were also present.

Sue Musson, non-executive director at Alder Hey's trust board and chair of the project group, added: "We are a paediatric trust and it is fitting we received 900 responses from children and young people most of them telling us and drawing for us what they want from their Alder Hey.

"It is our job to listen to these views and we are absolutely committed to incorporating them into the design of the new Alder Hey. We are determined to listen to our young customers.

"Our expectation is that children and our young patients will continue to challenge and inspire your design proposals. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide a new home for the amazing spirit of Alder Hey in the UK's first Children's Health Park."

Expressions of interest into the project must be submitted in the form of a completed pre-qualification questionnaire by 12pm on Tuesday 2 March 2010.

The brief for the £175m building and 30-year management contract published in the Official Journal of the European Union describes a world-class inpatient and acute treatment children's hospital on a new greenfield site adjacent to the current hospital.

The site forms part of Springfield Park, owned by Liverpool City Council. The council has already given outline planning permission for the children's health park, centred around a 450,000 sq ft hospital and 1,200-space car park.

Once the work is finished most of the existing buildings, which are between 75 and 100 years old, will be demolished and the site used to create new parkland.

The project, costing in total around £288m, has now moved into a key stage with the search starting for a partner to work with Alder Hey's trust board on the project.

The trust's decision to take the project to market follows an examination of the Health Park scheme by Monitor, the regulatory body for NHS Foundation Trusts.

Monitor's decision, announced on 19 October last year, paved the way for the scheme to progress to the next stage, taking it to market.

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