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Land in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich will return to medical use as Two Rivers Medical Centre

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 December 2015 | UPDATED: 07:00 03 December 2015

Stuart Clarke, development manager for Apollo Capital Projects, and Mark Hart, construction director at Barnes Construction, give a tour of the Two Rivers Medical Centre in Ipswich.

Stuart Clarke, development manager for Apollo Capital Projects, and Mark Hart, construction director at Barnes Construction, give a tour of the Two Rivers Medical Centre in Ipswich.

With a 200-year history that has seen a workhouse, barracks, medical facility and homelessness shelter, the site of the Two Rivers Medical Centre in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, has long been used to serve the public.

Images of what the finished Two Rivers Medical centre will look like when it is completed Images of what the finished Two Rivers Medical centre will look like when it is completed

But almost 90 years after first being known as the Ipswich Borough General Infirmary, the site will return to medical use with a new, innovative medical hub drawing together key services in one building.

The £6.5million project began eight years ago when the need for a combined facility for the Woodbridge Road and Lattice Barn GP surgeries came about.

But far from just being just a GP surgery, the 2,200 square-metre centre will become a modern facility with space for medical training and lectures, as well as facilities for minor surgery to help ease the burden on increasingly-stretched A&E services. Stuart Clarke, development manager for Apollo Capital Projects, which is based in Suffolk and specialises in medical facility developments, said: “The NHS wants GPs to be able to do as much as they can, but it is the minor operations they are unable to do at the moment because of their facilities.

“It will cut down on [hospital] waiting times and the building is completely flexible to suit whatever needs.”

Construction on the site started in June this year and is due to open next summer.

The project has also marked the start of a big economic boost for the town, with both Apollo and construction firm Barnes being based locally, meaning that employment and materials have all been sourced from Suffolk, and involved supply chains with more than 20 other local firms.

The practice will initially begin with 12 GPs, but is set to increase once the transition to the new building has been completed, and will save the NHS an estimated £400,000 a year through reduced admissions.

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