Skanska has finally reached financial close on the UK's biggest PFI hospital scheme - the £1.2bn Bart's and Royal London.

The Swedish contractor closed the deal eight months after it was originally expected to do so in August last year. It is in a consortium with funder Innisfree and Equion, which is part of John Laing.

The redevelopment of St Bartholomew's in the City of London and The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, will be Skanska's largest ever construction project. The architect on the scheme is HOK.

Bart's will be transformed into a cancer and cardiac centre and the Royal London will become the largest new hospital in the UK. The combined facilities will provide 1248 beds.

The consortium will be responsible for the financing, design, construction and operation of the hospitals for 42 years.

Work has started on site and the first phase - the cancer centre at Bart's - is scheduled for completion in 2010. The construction of the whole project is due to finish in 2016.

The hospitals will remain in operation throughout the construction phases.

  • Operating profit at Skanska UK fell 8% to £5.5m in the first quarter of 2006, compared with the same period last year. Turnover was up 19% to £195m.