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Ceremony marks the start of new hospital build in Birmingham

Construction works on the new Circle Health private hospital in Edgbaston were officially marked today at a sod cutting ceremony.

Key stakeholders from Circle Health, Medical Properties Trust, Calthorpe Estates, Bryden Wood, Gleeds and Birmingham City Council gathered for the event at the former BBC Pebble Mill site where the new facility is being built by Lincoln-based Simons Group.

The £21.85 million private patients' facility in the heart of Edgbaston's world renowned Medical Quarter will be an addition to Circle Health's existing portfolio, which includes facilities in Bath, Nottingham and Reading.

Paul Hodgkinson, Chairman of Simons Group, said: "We are a relationships-based business and hope this is the first of many projects with some of the finest health-related organisations not only in the UK, but worldwide. Circle Health is a leader in new ways of working in healthcare and the hospital will be a significant and hugely important addition to Birmingham's Medical Quarter."

The hospital is based on an expandable model which can be adapted and expanded to meet clinical demand now and in the future. The project will be constructed over 77 weeks and will include three operating theatres (expandable to six), an endoscopy procedure room, and 18 in-patient bedrooms. 
Luke Savage, Head of European Operations and Acquisitions at Medical Properties Trust, said: "We are very pleased to fund the development of the Circle Birmingham hospital. The UK represents a fantastic opportunity for Medical Properties Trust in our commitment to continued geographic diversification and growing relationship with Circle."

International property and construction consultancy, Gleeds, is providing project and cost management services for the project and will be working closely with all parties to ensure project delivery.

Gleeds Director for Birmingham, Lindsay McCombe, said: "Having worked on the new Circle Health Hospital project since pre-contract stage, we are absolutely delighted to have reached this important milestone. This forward-thinking and innovative project will create additional capacity in the Birmingham healthcare market, easing pressure on local hospitals and providing a first class specialist service for the community."

Circles Health's Chief Executive, Paolo Pieri, said "This state-of-the-art hospital will bring to Birmingham the high-quality care and excellent hospitality for which Circle Health is well-known, and is an important part of Circle's strategy to add scale to the group. The intention is also to add a significant number of beds for physical and neurological rehabilitation, along with the latest rehabilitation technology."

The key aspect of the architect's design approach has been to create a form of 'adaptive architecture', giving the client the ability to adapt the building as their needs change. Paul O'Neill, Director at Bryden Wood, explained: "In this instance, we have the ability to double the size of the initial phase, harnessing modular offsite building causing minimal disruption. This future-proofing makes this hospital highly adaptable and cost effective. This provides our client with a building, which can be adaptable to their business plan as it evolves and responds to local demand throughout its lifetime.

"Our approach has meant that the future incorporation of rehabilitation services into the scheme is made possible. It shows that it is essential to rethink healthcare design, and there is a clear need to provide spaces to be continuously adaptable to the future needs of healthcare requirements and technology. Circle Health successfully responds to these challenges," he said.

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