WORK on a multi-million pound scheme to create a health centre in Huddersfield is well under way.
A team of workers are converting historic Acre Mill, in Lindley, into a state-of-the-art new outpatients’ centre and are now at the half-way stage.
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Teams of builders, roofers, stone-masons, timber specialists and environmentalists have been collaborating on the £9m project undertaken by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Henry Boot Developers.
The exterior work is expected to finish by the end of October before the internal transformation takes place ahead of its planned opening to patients in the summer of 2014.
An expected 105,000 appointments a year will be based there.
Due the historic status of the mill, huge care has been taken with the project.
Special measures have included:
All the stone from any demolition-work is being recycled into the new build to preserve the look of the building.
Forty frogs from two ponds on the site have been relocated in a new 35ft ecology pond which has been planted and landscaped.
Four pipistrelle bats have been found temporary bat homes – after advice from Natural England – while the work continues and will then be relocated back into the central building.
Historic artefacts such as a ledger owned by Joseph Sykes – the family which founded the mill – have been recovered and will be kept by Lindley history research group.
The Acre Mill signage carved into the stone will be preserved and cleaned up for generations to come.
Site foreman Alan Senior, from Flockton, a builder for 40 years, said being part of such a historic project made him very proud.
Mr Senior said: “A project like this does create special challenges – some which crop up along the way. But I have no doubt what will be created at the end will be an amazing effort.
“You are aware of the history and now we are part of the next chapter in this fine building.
“A lot of care has to be taken. I can’t wait to see the final results.”
The Trust’s project leader Joanne Womack, said: “Of all our ongoing projects, this is quite unique, bringing together a lot of skilled people.
“It is more complicated than building a new outpatients’ centre for our patients, but what we will have at the end will be a fine asset for local healthcare – as a result of an amazing recycling project of old into new right in the heart of Lindley.”