A NEW £6.8million health centre is on track to open early next year as building work gathers pace.
The health centre, being built on the site of the former Belmont School, on Liverpool Road, Buckley, has been 13 years in the making, but shovels finally hit the ground earlier this year.
The new building will replace the existing outdated health centre on Padeswood Road, providing accommodation for two general practices, with 12 consulting rooms in addition to ancillary support rooms.
It will also house seven consulting rooms ensuring provision for health board care services, including district nurses and midwives.
Parking for more than 100 vehicles will be available, while proposals for dental facilities and a pharmacy have also been made.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board says the facility will open by next spring.
Speaking at the construction site yesterday, Cllr Ron Hampson has been monitoring the progress of the development.
He told the Leader: “It is all really impressive. There will be a lot of extra facilities in there which will be of great benefit to people in the area.
“It has been a long and difficult fight to secure a new health centre and reach this stage, but I am very, very pleased with the way the health centre is taking shape.”
Contractual wranglings had delayed work on the new health centre, the pursuit of which has previously been described by Cllr Hampson as “a tortuous process”.
However, he maintains its provision will provide a “massive boost” for the town.
Concerns have been raised about the increase of traffic in the area following the completion of building and traffic movements will be monitored when the facility finally opens.
Mayor of Buckley, Cllr Ian Peters, said: “The health centre will be a marvellous building and a major and valued asset for the town.”
Meanwhile, the health board insists the facility remains on track.
A BCUHB spokesman said: “Work by the developer, the Healthcare Property Company Wales, is progressing well on site and their contractor anticipates the building will be completed in February 2015.
“There will then be a short commissioning period while the health board’s services and those provided by the Roseneath and Bradley GP practices relocate to the new building and it should be open in late February or March.”
Mayor of Buckley, Cllr Ian Peters added: “The health centre will be a marvellous building.”
See full story in the Leader