THE board of NHS Lanarkshire has unanimously agreed that Wester Moffat should be the preferred site for the £400 million replacement University Hospital Monklands.
North Lanarkshire Council said that, without the planned East Airdrie link and the wider £190 million pan-Lanarkshire orbital transport corridor, the site would not be viable as a location for the new hospital.
The local authority has contributed £53.3 million on top of the Glasgow city region deal funding of £149 million to the three key infrastructure projects – the the Glenboig/Gartcosh link road (completed in June 2018), A8/M8 corridor access improvements and the pan-Lanarkshire orbital, of which the East Airdrie link road is a key component.
The East Airdrie link road is the name given to the northern section of the wider pan-Lanarkshire orbital transport corridor that runs between the M8 at Chapelhall and heads towards Cumbernauld. The council added that this road and active travel investment will link with investment planned along the A723 and through Ravenscraig in the south, which it said will provide a new travel corridor throughout North Lanarkshire which will ‘greatly’ improve accessibility and connectivity between local towns and communities.
Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said, “There’s no doubt that even the inclusion of the Wester Moffat site in the selection process would not have been possible without the significant investment of the council and the Glasgow City region city deal in the East Airdrie link road.
“Our ambitions for infrastructure in North Lanarkshire are clear. More record investment in the area needs the kind of developments we have set out and we will continue to do everything we can to boost the local economy. Investments such as the East Airdrie link road and the pan-Lanarkshire orbital will make travel across North Lanarkshire and beyond faster, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. That increases investment in our economy and makes it easier for local people to access vital local services.”
Neena Mahal, chair of the board of NHS Lanarkshire, commented, “The board’s recommendation that Wester Moffat is the preferred site for the new, state-of-the-art University Hospital Monklands marks a significant milestone in our exciting project to create a world-class hospital to serve the communities of Lanarkshire over the coming decades.
“I would like to thank the public and our staff for their extensive participation during the engagement process on the Monklands Replacement Project.
“The feedback we received on the three site options proved invaluable in helping Board members to give thorough consideration to the issues of key interest to members of the community, such as travel and transport, site contamination, cross-boundary flow of patients and the socio-economic impact of relocating the hospital.
“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the Monklands replacement project team, who provided the Board with the comprehensive information which formed the basis of our deliberations.
“The board’s recommendation, which is not a final decision, will now be considered by the cabinet secretary for health and sport.”
The Scottish Government will now make the decision about NHS Lanarkshire’s site recommendation proceeding to the business case stage. North Lanarkshire Council said that it is anticipated that the East Airdrie Link Road will be in place during 2026.