A ground-breaking ceremony at the University of Nottingham has marked the start of work to build the new Cripps Health Centre, one of the country’s largest wellness centres.
The new Cripps Health Centre will transform services for the healthcare needs of students and staff as well as those of the local community. It was made possible through a generous £9 million gift from the Cripps Foundation – the largest single gift donation from a private foundation in the University’s history.
When it was built in 1969, the original Cripps Health Centre had 6,000 students and staff on its records. It now boasts a list of more than 41,000 patients – the biggest GP register in the UK.
This new-generation building reflects a philanthropic legacy which began with Cyril Cripps in 1949 and has continued through generations of his family.
Members of the Cripps family joined Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Greenaway at University Park campus to mark the ground-breaking.
Robert Cripps, founding member of the Cripps Foundation, said: “This University attracted the attention of my grandfather and father 60 years ago. You can see with Cripps Hill and Cripps Hall that the Cripps empire is growing in Nottingham and we’re very proud to have an association with this University.
“We hope that this building will supply all of the requirements, not only for the student body, but the body that makes up the whole of the university and will provide the best of health support to everyone involved. It will be the best in this country just as the original one was when it was first built and it’s a delight to come back here.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Greenaway said: “This magnificent gift marks a new chapter in the history of gift- giving by the Cripps family. To have funded so many of our much-loved buildings is remarkable. Our University estate would not be the place we know it is today without their generosity and we are very grateful to them.
“The plans for the wellness centre will deliver an exemplar facility in terms of design, service provision and related research that will be unrivalled in the UK.”
The new facility will offer a holistic approach to primary health and dental care with enhanced clinical consulting rooms, minor operations suites, a patient observation bay, physiotherapy areas, dentist treatment rooms, pharmacy and mental health suite as well as training rooms and offices.
The building has been designed by architects CPMG who also attended the ground-breaking. Director Nick Gregory said: “We’re proud to have designed this flagship centre for the university which will be the largest healthcare facility of its kind in the country.”
It is expected that the construction phase, led by Faithful + Gould, will create 72 jobs, with 50 staff working when the centre is up and running, of which 10 will be new roles.
Work is scheduled for completion in autumn next year.