Plans for a new health centre for Shaw and Crompton could finally be becoming a reality after years of campaigning by councillors.
Ward councillors have been actively calling for a new building over concerns the Crompton Health Centre is run down and local people are being ‘disadvantaged’.
Oldham’s Liberal Democrats argue the present building on High Street is ‘falling apart at the seams’, and increasingly ‘unfit-for-purpose’.
“It is inadequate to meet the current health-care needs of our constituents,” the group has stated.
Now Oldham’s clinical commissioning group (CCG) has confirmed that it has secured funding for a new purpose built facility.
However a condition of the funding means that work must start by the end of March 2022, with the cash needing to be spent within 12 months.
Chiefs say this presents a ‘significant challenge’ to the proposals.
However local Lib Dems are delighted that there is a finally movement on the possibility of replacing the current building, which they say could be built on the site of the former Shaw Baths.
Shaw councillor and Lib Dem group leader Howard Sykes said: “The current health centre is clearly no longer fit for purpose and we are in desperate need of a replacement modern facility.
“Shaw and Crompton residents have found it frustrating that, whilst their neighbours in Royton have been well-provided for, they have not.
“Local Liberal Democrat councillors have been campaigning to right this injustice for years working behind the scenes to try and progress this project.
“It is clear that we will need to move fast to ensure everything falls into place by January of next year in order to see our long-awaiting new health centre by the end of March 2023.
“Residents can be assured that local Liberal Democrat councillors will continue to press for this development to move it forward as quickly as possible as we have all been waiting a long time for this.”
The Crompton Health Centre currently houses two GP surgeries, the Oak Gables Partnership and the Village Medical Practice.
Mike Barker, accountable officer for NHS Oldham CCG, said: “I am delighted that we have secured capital funding for the Shaw Crompton scheme. That is subject to terms and conditions and the amount will be dependent on final forecast construction costs.
“We have also approved an outline business case in principle. Developers are currently submitting pre-qualification questionnaires.
“A shortlist will be drawn up from these and then a selection panel comprising the CCG, the district valuer and the GP practices will appoint the preferred developer.
“It is a condition of the funding that work starts by the end of March 2022 with the remainder grant funding being spent within 12 months – this remains a significant challenge, especially if a developer cannot be appointed quickly or construction was held up by unforeseen events.”