16 September 2008,

Plans revealed for unique new centre

Plans revealed for unique new centre - 17th September 2008

Plans for the £10m health section of the new Royton Health and Well-being centre in Oldham will be unveiled to local people next week.

A roadshow will be at Royton Market on Thursday September 11 from 10am. It will have pictures, plans and information about the new centre and staff leading this latest LIFT development will be on hand to answer questions and talk people through the plans. They will also be asking people if they would like to take part in a special health event the following week.

If planning approval is given work could start on the first phase, or health centre part, of the new building early next year. It will eventually provide a one stop shop for health and leisure for more than 20,000 people.

The health facility will replace the current Royton Health Centre. The new three storey building will have health information and services to support people to keep well, two GP practices and a pharmacy on the ground floor; on the first floor there will be community nursing teams, two dental surgeries and more specialist services such as orthoptics, podiatry, audiology and minor surgery. The third floor will be office space.

The second phase of work, which is being considered, will be the leisure facility. This is expected to be modelled on the new Chadderton Health and Well-being Centre, which will bring together high quality, modern and accessible facilities in one location, including a swimming pool, dance studio, gym, meeting rooms, and a café.

The Royton centre, which will be behind the town hall and library, will also have an open public space outside it. A recent consultation with local people, carried out by Groundwork Trust on behalf of Oldham Primary Care Trust and Oldham Council, led to them asking for this to currently unused area to be turned into green open space with somewhere pleasant to sit.

The PCT and Council are part of the team steering the LIFT programme in Oldham, which is being delivered by Community 1st Oldham, Oldham's award winning LIFT partner.

Riaz Ahmad is chair of Oldham PCT. He said: "These are really exciting plans to deliver something unique for the people of this part of Oldham as part of a network of health developments across the borough. This will be one of the first centres of its kind and I'm pleased we've all been able to work together, with local people, to deliver what they want."

Dr John Kelly, GP lead for the Royton project, said: "The medical practices concerned are looking forward to moving into premises designed for the delivery of primary care in the 21st century. The new accommodation will provide a much needed improvement to healthcare for the benefit of both patients and staff."

Oldham Council's executive director for health and social care Veronica Jackson said: "The Council is committed to providing the best leisure and sporting facilities and the development which is being considered will allow us to better serve current residents of Royton and future generations. By delivering complimentary services from a single, purpose built site enables us to offer improved services in more efficient and joined up way.

"We are working closely with the local community to ensure that their ideas are incorporated into this building and we hope to create a fantastic resource that the whole community can be proud of."

Neil Charlesworth  from Community 1st Oldham said: "The new Royton development has been an exciting and challenging project for the LIFT partnership.

"The excellent joint working of all the partners will bring together health and leisure services in a phased development which will make a significant impact on the regeneration of the Royton area, bringing to reality new high quality facilities where high quality services can continue to be delivered for local people".

For more information, contact Anna Sarginson - asarginson@northconsulting.co.uk or 0161 831 9722