Contractor commences three-year build programme at £220m oncology wing for St James University Hospital

Contractor Bovis has started on site with the construction of a major new £220m cancer centre in Leeds.

The build programme, which should last about three years, will create an oncology wing for the St James University Hospital.

The project is the first to be funded using the treasury's credit guarantee facility, whereby the Department of Health provides the senior debt for the project. This means the government effectively puts up the money rather than banks.

The new wing, which has been designed by architect Anshen Dyer, will provide specialist services to a catchment area of 2.6 million people.

Cost consultant Faithful & Gould assisted with the new funding mechanism.

Regional director David Nicholson said: "The manner in which this project has been funded is being heralded as the way forward for larger PFI schemes and we were delighted to provide our expertise on the first project of its kind in the UK."