Kier Property has been selected by the Health Campus Partnership (Watford Borough Council, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Watford Football Club) as the preferred bidder to deliver the £240m Watford Health Campus project.
The company beat rival bidder Laing to be awarded the contract to deliver the 375,000sq ft mixed-use development, which will include new hospital facilities for Watford and south-west Hertfordshire, up to 650 homes and a new multi-storey car park.
The Health Campus will regenerate derelict land in west Watford and deliver new employment space and 1,600 local jobs. It will also allow better access for all to improved open public space and reduce traffic congestion.
Kier Property scored highly across a range of areas that ultimately saw its bid come out on top. The Health Campus partnership was particularly impressed by Kier as:
-its masterplan fully meets the aims for the scheme in terms of creating an attractive and sustainable community in west Watford that incorporates health, employment, quality open space and new homes
-its proposal keeps the hospital’s vision for new health facilities at the heart of the scheme and offers the flexibility needed to ensure this can happen
-it offers excellent value for money with a 50:50 long-term joint venture for the public sector
-it has a good track record of delivery and will appoint an experienced and skilled team to take its proposals forward
Nigel Turner, Kier Property’s MD, added: “We are extremely pleased to be selected as the preferred partner to deliver the Watford Health Campus scheme. We have worked closely with the Health Campus partners to understand their vision and aspirations for the Health Campus and the area overall. We believe our proposal will deliver the transformation that the partnership is looking for and we are now very excited to get started.
“We are looking forward to getting out and about in Watford to share our proposals with the local community. Our joint objective is to deliver realistic and achievable regeneration within a clear timescale.”
Commenting, Dorothy Thornhill MBE, Elected Mayor of Watford, said: “This announcement marks a significant step forward for the Health Campus and brings us closer to seeing our aspirations for the area finally come to fruition. The Health Campus is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will deliver significant benefits to the town and gives a huge boost to our local economy at a time when other areas of the country are seeing reductions to public investment and services. There is still a lot to be done but I am delighted at the prospect of working with Kier on its exciting proposals and getting the best possible results for Watford and our residents.”
Jan Filochowski, chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have been working hard to fulfil our vision for a modern general hospital for Watford and the whole of west Hertfordshire, so I am delighted that we have reached this important milestone in the Watford Health Campus project.
“The land around the hospital and the slope of the site has been challenging when trying to piece together the Health Campus ‘jigsaw’. The scheme allows parts of the hospital to ‘decant’, whilst other parts are built. It will transform the hospital facilities and site, creating green open spaces, tranquil water frontage and welcoming public spaces. Emergency and normal access to the site will be dramatically improved. At the end of the works our patients, staff and the local community are set to have fantastic new and improved facilities.”
Kier will also be working with the Health Campus partnership to complete the financial and legal aspects of their agreement by December.