East Hampshire District Council has pledged almost £1 million to play its part in making the Whitehill & Bordon Health Hub a reality.
The council has been working in partnership with the NHS, the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company (WBRC) and the landowners, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), to bring the modern medical facility to the town centre.
On Thursday, EHDC’s Cabinet agreed to transfer to the DIO £461,000 of developers’ contributions and up to £530,000 from the original Eco-Town fund, awarded to the council in 2010.
The decision puts another piece of the puzzle in place and meets part of the funding needed for the Health Hub, allowing the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GPs to move forward with their own part of the scheme.
Cllr Richard Millard, EHDC Leader and Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “Ensuring that both existing and new residents in the town have access to first class health services has been a long-standing priority for the council and is central to our ambition to transform Whitehill & Bordon into a green, healthy and connected town.
“This is a complicated project with many moving parts, but by pledging to put forward nearly £1 million of funding, with supporting officer expertise, we have taken a big step forward to making these plans a reality.
“This is a phenomenally exciting project that will bring a vital facility to the heart of the town.”
The funding pledged by EHDC will be used alongside further funding provided by WBRC and other partners to ensure this essential aspect of the regeneration is deliverable.
WBRC project lead, James Child, said: “The new town centre is really starting to take shape, with the delivery of the leisure centre, The Shed, the first phase of housing and the permanent drive-in cinema already in situ. We have always been aware of the significant need to bring forward a state of the art healthcare facility, which will sit alongside the retail, leisure and entertainment offerings in the heart of the town centre.
“The pledge of funding by EHDC will enable us to bring forward this key phase of the project and we look forward to continuing our work with them, the NHS, local GPs and other partners in bringing the new health hub to Prince Philip Park.”
Sara Tiller, Managing Director for South East Hampshire for the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s fantastic news that East Hampshire District Council is prepared to support this project so strongly, in such a challenging financial climate for us all. We will now look to discuss the next steps with our NHS partners.”
The Health Hub is planned to deliver GP services, a pharmacy and community health services, including both physical and mental health services, which are currently delivered at Chase Community Hospital, in a single, bespoke, high-quality building in the new town centre. There will also be space for dentists, opticians and other healthcare providers in the hub.
Its design includes space to expand to meet the health needs of Whitehill & Bordon’s growing population and its location in the town centre will help create a diverse, multi-use town centre, driving footfall, increasing vibrancy and creating a sustainable town centre.