The partners behind the first integrated, stand-alone dental hospital and dental school to be built in the UK for almost 40 years have reached financial close and work will start on site next month.
The landmark development, led by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, together with its partners the University of Birmingham, Birmingham and Solihull LIFT (BaS LIFT) and Calthorpe Estates, was granted detailed planning permission in December 2012 for the site, which is the former home of BBC Pebble Mill studios.
The development is seen as highly strategic for the city, being a key element of the new Edgbaston Medical Quarter and further enhances the city’s reputation as a hub of Medicine, Learning and Life Sciences.
The development of the 1.23-hectare (3.05-acre) site will see a new four-storey dental hospital and school of dentistry constructed, with a build cost of £34 million.
Totalling 15,465sqm, it will house a range of services for the public including walk-in emergency dental care, restorative, oral surgery, oral medicine, orthodontics and paediatric dentistry.
The public will access all dental services in one wing of the building with a second wing providing world-class research facilities and a modern learning environment for more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate students and trainees.
Lead contractor Galliford Try is expected to start on site early September 2013 and it is anticipated the building will open to staff, students and the public in time for the beginning of the 2015 autumn term.
The existing dental hospital at St Chad’s Circus is more than 50 years old and the new building, designed by healthcare design specialists One Creative Environments Ltd, will not only provide a clinical environment for patients’ treatment but also world-class teaching facilities. As an integral part of the University of Birmingham’s School of Dentistry, students will be better located for the main Edgbaston campus and medical school, allowing for improved integration of facilities.
Professor Philip Lumley, head of the School of Dentistry at the University of Birmingham said: 'As international leaders in research, teaching and clinical service within dentistry, the University of Birmingham School of Dentistry welcomed the opportunity to work with our partners and is delighted to have reached this milestone.
'We look forward to continuing to work with Birmingham Dental Hospital and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust to deliver this project, and further develop innovations that will underpin the oral and dental healthcare of the people in the city and region.'
Barry Cockcroft, chief dental officer for England and former student at the university, said: 'This demonstrates the confidence people have in the university and NHS teams in Birmingham to deliver high quality education for dental students and services for patients.
'The design of the building is innovative and will provide a great opportunity to integrate dental treatment, learning and research in a modern environment.'