Work begins on Ronald McDonald House

Pochin Construction has started building the new Ronald McDonald House for family accommodation at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Working on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities UK, Manchester-based AEW Architects has designed the facilities.

A ground breaking ceremony was held this week, which was attended by those responsible for making the project happen as well as the Ronald McDonald House Manchester project team.

Pochin Construction was awarded a £6.8m contract to build the property in October last year, following a five-way competitive tender.

The five-storey house will provide 60 bedrooms for families and will be open 365 days a year.

The new Ronald McDonald House in Manchester will be the 15 of its kind in the UK and is expected to take 52 weeks to build with completion scheduled for spring 2012.

Jonathan Pochin, managing director of Pochin Construction, said: "The work that Ronald McDonald House Charities does to enable such facilities to be built and maintained is fantastic and we are very proud to be a part of a programme which will make such a difference to families across the North West."

Steve Burne, managing director of AEW, added: "Having worked on a number of accommodation facilities for RMHC throughout the UK, it is a real honour to be involved as the architect on home turf in Manchester. This is a wonderful charity and the Houses make such a difference to the lives of families with children in hospital.

We look forward to seeing the facility's first visitors in 2012."

RMHC is calling on businesses and the community across the North West to help raise essential funds to complete the project, which includes furnishing the interior and securing vital initial running costs for the facility.

Jon Haward, director of RMHC, said: "Having a child admitted to hospital is every parent's worst nightmare. Ronald McDonald Houses provide support for families at this difficult time, enabling them to stay together and share their experiences with other families who are going through the same thing. We are confident that the people of Manchester will help us to complete the new Ronald McDonald House and give families one less thing to worry about when their children are in hospital."

The most recent house was completed at Birmingham Children's Hospital in 2010. AEW was selected to design the Manchester accommodation in 2005 and have been retained by McDonald's Restaurants for 15 years.

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