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Works starts on Longbridge defence staff base

New accommodation for medical staff treating injured service personnel is due to open next year

CGI of new residential facility for staff working at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine

Work has started to build new accommodation in Longbridge for medical staff who treat injured service personnel at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

The first occupants of the new facility are expected to move in next summer, consolidating staff who are currently living in rented accommodation across the city into one place.

The project is being carried out by regeneration specialist St Modwen in conjunction with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) as part of the former's long-running redevelopment of Longbridge following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005.

Granted consent last year, the building will provide 180 en-suite bedrooms, catering and support facilities for staff based at the hospital's Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Selly Oak.

St Modwen is also creating foot and cycle connections between the new building and the Longbridge town centre development by extending the existing path alongside the River Rea to the accommodation.

Other work has included a new Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer, Premier Inn hotel, Bournville College and residential estates.

St Modwen's development director Mike Murray said: "It is a testament to the success of Longbridge that the DIO has chosen to locate its accommodation here and invest in the area.

"It is exciting to see construction under way on the new facility.

"We very much look forward to welcoming staff to the vibrant community at Longbridge while equally adding to the increasingly diverse offering we have here.

"With improvements to footpath and cycle links being brought forward as part of the development, we are also creating a greener, cleaner environment, not just for the future occupants but everyone at Longbridge."

Vice Admiral Alasdair Walker, the Ministry of Defence's surgeon general, said: "The construction of this building is a significant step in improving accommodation facilities for staff at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.

"It will provide a focal point that will develop and maintain a sense of belonging and teamwork in support of the essential medical work they undertake every day.

"We are planning to choose a building name that is both a fitting tribute to those who have gone before and recognises personnel from all three services working together as one team."

St Modwen and military staff mark the start of construction work

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