HEALTH chiefs have been reminded of the ‘massive opportunity’ to deliver a new hospital in Warrington as the plans ‘gather pace’.

Senior figures have been considering a long list of secret locations for the proposed new facility in the town, with the potential for the current Lovely Lane site also included.

A location could be selected by January.

The issue was discussed by the health and wellbeing board at the Town Hall today, Thursday.

Professor Simon Constable, deputy chief executive at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, updated members following a recent design workshop.

Mr Constable, who is also executive medical director, says ‘part of the aspiration’ is to be something ‘very different from a conventional hospital’.

He added that possible sites are being ‘explored, identified and appraised’.

Cllr Rebecca Knowles (LAB – Chapelford and Old Hall), who chaired the meeting, was also keen to express her views.

She believes the project is ‘gathering pace’.

“What we do know is that hospitals aren’t going to look like the hospital that started off 100 years ago, they are going to have to serve some different purposes for the population of the town in the future,” she added

“So, it is a massive opportunity, isn’t it, for us to get this right for Warrington?” she added.

Shortly after, Mr Constable said ‘the devil is in the detail with a lot of this’ and highlighted the level of work required to turn the vision for a new site into a reality.

As concerns over the hospital’s ageing estate mount, concerns have been raised over the battle with maintenance costs.

During a meeting in April, health representatives and councillors were told more than £2 million has been invested into the site over the previous 12 months.

But, by 2028, hospital bosses expect there to be backlog in costs of around £30 million.