New health unit takes shape

Residents will be able to tour the site where the steel frame is now in place.

Residents will be able to tour the site where the steel frame is now in place.

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Residents are being offered chance to tour a major construction project taking shape in Blackpool.

Metal work for the £40m Harbour mental health unit on Preston New Road, Marton, is in place, and a new road junction is set to be up and running in October.

Residents will be able to tour the site where the steel frame is now in place.

Residents will be able to tour the site where the steel frame is now in place.

Residents and school groups are being invited to look behind the scenes at the site next month to learn more about the building industry.

A spokesman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “Construction of the Harbour started at the beginning of April and is progressing well.

“The majority of the groundwork has been completed to create a level surface for the building work, the drainage has been completed and the foundations and brickwork are underway.

“The two storey parts of the building are constructed with a steel framework which has recently been erected.

“Work is also ongoing to create a new junction opposite the windmill which will be the entrance to The Harbour.

“We are working closely with our contractors and we anticipate the junction and the lights will be up and running by October.”

Clifton ward councillor Adrian Hutton said residents’ initial concerns about the scheme had been addressed.

He said: “The fact the building is going to be well screened and lower than originally planned addressed any concerns.”

The Harbour is on schedule to become operational during Spring 2015.

VINCI Construction UK, the main contractor working on The Harbour, is one of 23 employers nationally participating in Open Doors Weekend, an initiative that invites members of the public from all across the UK to go around a construction site in their area.

People will be able to tour the site on September 27 and 28.

Open Doors Weekend is organised by the UK Contractors Group (UKCG).

People can find out more and book a place on one of the tours by logging onto www.ukcg.org.uk

Project will see changes to road

Lancashire Care NHS Trust first announced plans for a new mental health unit five years ago.

Developers had to secure planning permission from both Blackpool and Fylde Councils because the project straddles both authorities.

The scheme was revised to a smaller building and the building footprint was moved closer to the main approach road.

Changes also included a smaller sized courtyard, and smaller bedrooms although the planning report stated they are “all within current best practice guidelines”.

However the number of bedrooms remains the same at 154.

The development will also see a traffic light controlled junction installed on Preston New Road opposite the Little Marton Windmill, a signalled crossing and a new bus lay-by.

The new facility will replace the existing Parkwood unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, which will remain open until the Harbour opens.

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