Ashton Town Hall is to be transformed into a new NHS community health centre after proposals from Eric Wright Health & Care were approved by Council town planners.
The scheme, in partnership with Wigan Borough CCG, followed a late deal to purchase the 1,485 sq m vacant municipal building.
The new health facility will house the community services and GP Practice currently located within Ashton Clinic and the Medicentre GP practice in a single location. Supporting more than 10,000 patients, the centre will boost local health services, which is limited in both practices due to the size and conditions of the buildings in which they currently reside, and will also provide the opportunity for additional support to be reintroduced to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. The new health centre will also provide accommodation for a pharmacy.
Improved pedestrian access for patients is also a key part of the plans, with a new zebra crossing on Bryn Street and alleygates to be introduced. The centre will also utilise existing town centre car parks to provide adequate parking provision for staff and patients.
Wayne Ashton, head of strategic planning at Eric Wright Health and Care, said: “We have been working with our partners for a number of years to develop a new health facility and this decision will now make it a reality.
“We will continue to work with the residents, local community and various stakeholders to ensure it will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people of Ashton. It is our hope that it will become a much-loved community facility in the same way the Town Hall was previously.”
Councillor, Nigel Ash, added: “I am delighted that the Planning committee gave unanimous approval for the medical centre. Because of Government changes to NHS funding, the people of Ashton will have waited more than 10 years for this centre to be built. Now the developers can finally start the job and Ashton will get a modern health facility which it so desperately needs and I look forward to the opening in 2018.”
Construction is due to start during summer 2017 with doors opening to patients in early summer 2018.