£1.3m Sidmouth hospital revamp gets go-ahead

Stuart Hughes presents a cheque to Emma Bagwell,Graham Vincent and Sheelagh Michlemore for the Sidmo

Stuart Hughes presents a cheque to Emma Bagwell,Graham Vincent and Sheelagh Michlemore for the Sidmouth Hospital comforts fund. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 6945-04-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

PROPOSALS to give Sidmouth Victoria Hospital a £1.3million revamp that will cap off a quarter-of-a-century of improvements have been given the go-ahead.

Blueprints to create a new physiotherapy department, rehabilitation unit and gym area along with a canopied entrance with reception were this week granted planning permission by district council officers.

The scheme also features the re-siting of the facility’s kitchen, and the demolition of the existing

physiotherapy building will also allow for a larger parking area.

When the planning application was submitted in November, it was hoped the work could begin early this year – taking around 14 months to complete.

While there will be some disruption, it is intended the hospital will remain open throughout.

The project is being led by Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Comforts Fund with help from the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

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The proposed work is the fifth and final phase of a 23-year scheme by the comforts fund to upgrade the hospital that has already seen more than £3.5million spent to date.

An appeal to raise £350,000 to help fund the massive upgrade of Sidmouth Victoria Hospital has been given a helping hand by Councillor Stuart Hughes.

Cllr Hughes last week handed over £1,000 from his county council locality budget for the project.

The overall scheme will cost £1.3million.

Sidmouth Hospital Comforts Fund will pay £750,000 towards, with the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust forking out £200,000.

It is hoped the remainder will come from a public which ardently supports the healthcare facility.

Mr Hughes said he was sure townsfolk who value the outstanding medical care they receive at the hospital could be banked on to support the effort – and patients would benefit greatly from the improvements.

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