Anger in Merseyside as Midlands hospital gets £300m rescue package

Carillion was building the Midland Metropolitan Hospital

Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson has hit out at the Government’s decision to hand over £300m to complete a hospital in the Midlands.

The mayor accused the Government of favouring the West Midlands above Merseyside because the area has elected Conservative mayor Andy Street.

Construction is set to resume on Smethwick Hospital while there is still no news about when work will restart at the new Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Both projects came to a standstill following the collapse of construction firm Carillion in January.

Joe Anderson made his displeasure known in a tweet which made a pointed reference to Andy Street.

It reads “Yet again, the Midlands is ‘Streets’ ahead in favouritism from this Tory Government. People in Liverpool are asking where is the announcement about our hospital?”

He added:  “This is welcome news for the West Midlands the Government has to take responsibility. Liverpool demands the same response urgently. The current deteriorating Royal Liverpool Hospital is now a risk to patients, staff and halting development in our City.”

The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust is thought to be in talks with construction firm Laing O’Rourke to take over the project.

But there is no sign of a resolution and the building is thought to be at least 12 months away from being opened.

The hospital was cited as one of the projects which led to Carillion’s collapse due to spiraling costs.

In contrast work at the £350m hospital in Smethwick is set to resume after a funding pledge from the Government.

The Midland Metropolitan Hospital was left two-thirds finished following the collapse of Carillion.

The Department for Health and Social Care said government funding was “the only viable option”.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said reaching an agreement had “taken a huge amount of effort”.

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