The final go-ahead has been given for a new community hospital in Cockermouth and a health centre in Cleator Moor, following the granting of 'Stage II' approval by the NHS North of England Strategic Health Authority on 8th March.
The developments are to be funded and delivered through the NHS Express LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) programme.
Following the decision, it now remains for final contract details to be completed before work on the new £12.5 million Cockermouth Hospital can start in the early summer with completion expected in autumn 2013.
Work on the new £6.5 million health centre in Cleator Moor should also start in early summer and be completed by the end of spring 2013.
The new hospital in Cockermouth will be built on land next to the current Cottage Hospital on Isel Road. It will replace the existing hospital which is more than 100 years-old and will provide new facilities for the town's GPs who are currently working out of temporary accommodation on the hospital site, following the floods which devastated Cockermouth in November 2009.
The new Health Centre on Birks Road in Cleator Moor will incorporate a range of health services in a new state of the art facility designed to ensure future healthcare needs are met.
Dr David Rogers the lead commissioning GP for Copeland said: "The combined investment marks a big step-forward for health care in West Cumbria and will enable us to plan and provide the best services for our patients."
Dr Mike Bewick, NHS Cumbria's Medical Director, said: "Combined with the new West Cumberland Hospital, these schemes make-up the largest ever single-investment in West Cumbria's health facilities."
Gary Naylor, General Manager of eLIFT Cumbria Limited, said: "We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone on these two schemes and we look forward to continuing to work with NHS Cumbria through the final stage of the development process to deliver these new facilities as soon as possible."
For further information please contact eLIFT Cumbria Limited LIFTCo