Balfour Beatty to build Highland hospitals in £37m deal

Construction and infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty is to create up to 200 jobs after landing a £37 million contract to deliver two Highland hospitals.

An artist's impression of the Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross Community Hospital at Broadford on Skye. Image: Contributed

The FTSE 250-listed group has been appointed as main contractor of Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital and Health Care Centre in Aviemore, as well as the Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross Community Hospital at Broadford on Skye.

Balfour Beatty has pledged to “engage with local supply chains” to bring a jobs boost to both regions. During peak construction it plans to employ a workforce of up to 200 staff, including the recruitment of two trainee construction managers.

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The firm is to construct two new 24-bed hospitals, with the centre on Skye providing in-patient and X-ray services, while the Aviemore build will offer a GP practice along with urgent care, in-patient and Scottish Ambulance Service facilities.

The group has also announced plans to construct the energy centres for both hospitals offsite, in line with its strategy of reducing onsite activity by 25 per cent by 2025 in an effort to improve safety and enhance productivity and efficiency.

Balfour Beatty will supply ground engineering services through its specialist geo-technical arm.

The firm was awarded the contract by Hub North Scotland, a partnership between public and private sector organisations to deliver community-based infrastructure projects in the north.

Construction work at the hospitals, which were given the green light by the Scottish Government in May, is due to commence this summer and is expected to complete in spring 2021.

Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty’s regional managing director of Scotland and Ireland, said the group’s experience would “ensure that the Skye and Aviemore hospitals will service the surrounding communities for years to come”.

Michael Padzinski, chief executive of Hub North Scotland added: “We have already worked with Balfour Beatty on several community infrastructure projects and are looking forward to continuing that partnership to deliver the Badenoch and Strathspey and the Skye, Lochalsh and West Ross community hospitals for NHS Highland.”

NHS Highland chief executive Iain Stewart said the start of construction would mark “another exciting step forward for NHS services in both Badenoch and Strathspey and on Skye and crucially supports our efforts to modernise and transform the delivery of healthcare in both regions”.

He added: “We very much look forward to delivering high-quality sustainable services that the communities can be proud of.”