A landmark multi-million pound project to build a new community hospital and health centre in Derbyshire has been given the financial go-ahead.
Construction work on the £24m state-of-the-art health campus development in Ashbourne will begin next month.
The facility, adjacent to Clifton Road, will replace St Oswald's Community Hospital in the town and Ashbourne Health Centre in Compton Street.
It is due to open to the public in 2010 and will serve about 35,000 people.
The three-storey centre will house a 24-bed community hospital designed for rehabilitation and care of the elderly, with four-bed bays and single rooms with en-suite bathrooms.
It will also include physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments along with X-ray and ultrasound facilities.
In a separate part of the building, the health centre will house a range of healthcare services including five GPs, community nursing, health visitors, chiropody, podiatry, community clinic and phlebotomy, along with outpatient services.
A pharmacy will be relocating from the town centre and it will also have a cafe and secure car parking.
Tracy Allen, director of Derbyshire Community Health Services at Derbyshire County PCT said: "We're delighted that this scheme has been given the financial go-ahead following years of extensive planning.
"We'd like to thank everyone involved for all their hard work in helping us to achieve this important landmark in the development of new community-based NHS health services which are set to benefit the local population for many years to come."
The hospital and health centre is a public and private partnership project.
It will be built and maintained by Southern Derbyshire Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Company for Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT).