LIFT development will bring council, police and health services under one roof
As part of a new development showing how healthcare can be delivered alongside other key public services, work has started on the Whitley Bay Joint Service Centre.
The development, announced as part of the latest phase of the regeneration of the town centre, will bring together a range of services delivered by NHS North of Tyne, North Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police.
Due to open in 2013, the £5m facility is being delivered through the Newcastle and North Tyneside (NNT) LIFTCo, a partnership between the local authority, primary care trust and private sector developers, Robertson and Community Health Partnerships.
North Tyneside mayor, Linda Arkley, said about the start of the work: "I know how important this is for residents and for local businesses. By bringing a range of services together under one roof we will help encourage more people into the town centre and that can only be good news for everyone."
In terms of health services, the building will include a self-contained primary care suite on the first floor containing a treatment room, two counseling rooms, a reception, waiting area and back office space. It will also boast a ‘social prescribing hub’, a new holistic approach to mental health provision and social wellbeing.
In addition, there will be a library split over two floors, a tourist information service, council one-stop shop and offices for the adult social care team. Community groups will be able to use a range of multi-purpose meeting spaces and there will be a café, Age Concern office, event space, JobCentrePlus and a dedicated desk for use by Northumbria Police.
By bringing a range of services together under one roof we will help encourage more people into the town centre and that can only be good news for everyone
Andy McLeod, managing director of developer, Robertson, said: "We have been working with North Tyneside Council for a number of years on the Whitley Bay Joint Services Centre project and are delighted to get started on site.
"I was born and brought up in Whitley Bay, so as a local boy it`s great to see this project finally coming to fruition."
Russell Taylor, operations director at developer for NNT LIFTCo, said: "This is major step forward for Whitley Bay’s largest regeneration scheme and great news for the local community.
"We are very excited to deliver this important project which will regenerate Whitley Bay."