Construction has been stalled since the original main contractor, Carillion, which was building the hospital under a private finance initiative, collapsed into liquidation in January 2018. The Treasury agreed that the project could be moved to the public sector and it stumped up £350m to complete the project.
After almost two years of political and legal wrangling, main construction can now officially resume, with completion expected in 2022.
Balfour Beatty was selected as replacement contractor by Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust in October 2018 and has been working on an early works contract on the emerging building for the past year. Its price is capped at £267m.
Signing the contract on 11th December was the NHS trust chairman Richard Samuda, chief executive Toby Lewis and Dean Banks, chief executive of Balfour Beatty UK Construction Services.
Balfour Beatty will now progress with the main construction works to the 80,000m2 hospital, including the completion of the external façade, and all associated mechanical, electrical and plumbing services, delivered by Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick.
Dean Banks said: “This is a key project for the Midlands and a long-awaited moment for healthcare services in the local community. Following the successful completion of the early works phase, we are pleased that we have been entrusted to deliver the final elements of the scheme.
“Our wealth of experience and expertise will ensure that the Midland Metropolitan Hospital will service future generations for years to come.”
The 670-bed Midland Met replaces acute and emergency services at Sandwell and City Hospitals. It brings together acute healthcare services for the population of Sandwell and western Birmingham onto a single site in Smethwick.
When Carillion started building it in 2016, the hospital was expected to open before the end of 2018.