WARRINGTON and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has announced plans to create a pioneering £40m health and wellbeing campus in Runcorn.

All the operating theatres, wards, clinics and services currently available at Halton Hospital would be transferred to state-of-the-art facilities built in an extension to the neighbouring Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre.

All surgery currently carried out at Halton Hospital would be transferred to the new site, while a new Runcorn Urgent Care Centre will be built.

When the new development opens, Halton Hospital – which dates back to 1976 – will be demolished to pave way for a trailblazing scheme.

Runcorn has been chosen as one of 10 places in the UK to be transformed into ‘healthy new towns’ as part of an ambitious government-funded programme.

A spokesman for Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust said: "We have submitted a bid for £40 million to NHS England and should know next month if it is successful.

"If the bid is approved we will get moving and continue to involve the people of Halton and our staff.

"We are unique – we are the only demonstrator site selected by NHS England that has a hospital at its centre.

"This gives us an exciting opportunity to create a health and wellbeing campus at the very heart of Halton Lea, bringing together all of the elements required to deliver a badge-less, seamless health and social care system for the people of Halton.

"Master planners have been engaged to explore all of the potential options for the entirety of Halton Lea.

"However the decisions about the Health and Wellbeing Campus rest with the NHS as the landowner, and we are committed to developing a state-of-the-art facility to meet the needs of the current and future populations of Halton."

Land made vacant after Halton Hospital is demolished will be reconfigured to accommodate a medical plaza.

This would be home to GP surgeries and primary care practitioners.

A diagnostic imaging and diagnosis centre will be created to enable early diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and conditions, while a wellness facility supporting rehabilitation and good physical and mental wellbeing is also a key part of the development.

The campus also features care homes, a short-stay rehabilitation centre and a community centre with cafes, shops and facilities including a post office.

NHS land leftover after the campus is built will be used to build social housing and homes for the elderly.