Property consultant Eddisons is overseeing the work at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, on behalf of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Eddisons’ building and project consultancy head, Ian Harrington, said: “Phase one of the project involves the controlled demolition of a 1970s wing of the building, which has stood empty for 18 years and contains high levels of asbestos.
“It’s a delicate process that has to be managed extremely carefully, as the disused tower block adjoins the busy working hospital and is amongst a complicated network of existing services and infrastructure. The site is also next to the VIE plant, where the hospital stores oxygen, nitrogen and other gases used in surgery – so it really is a balancing act.”
“Our team are very experienced in this area of work and are currently engaged in other areas of the country on similarly tricky projects.”
The demolition contractor, All Round Demolition, is a new company, set up by 72-year-old James Hudson, former owner of Hudson Demolition Services.
The demolition project is due for completion in April this year and the new cancer centre is set to open in 2020.
“We are all very excited to see the demolition progressing and we look forward to seeing the new centre come to life after years of planning,” said Suzanne Stanley, radiotherapy services manager at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.
“Going to hospital can cause anxiety and getting treatment for cancer is scary. We hope this building will put people at ease by being in a relaxing and comfortable environment. The demolition of the tower block is the next milestone for us in improving cancer services.”