Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

King’s Lynn Queen Elizabeth Hospital Inspire Centre demolition begins to make way for multi-storey car park and state-of-the-art hospital





Patients, staff and visitors witnessed history in the making this morning as the first stage of the rebuild project at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital got under way.

It came as demolition began on the Inspire Centre, a landmark building near the entrance of the site built using reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), which construction workers started to knock down to make way for a multi-storey car park.

The work, which is expected to take around four weeks to complete, will change the landscape of the site and mark the initial steps in creating a new state-of-the-art hospital for staff and patients, which is itself set to be built on the existing car park.

It comes after Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced on May 25 that the current crumbling QEH – along with four other RAAC-impacted hosptials across the country – has been prioritised and added to its New Hospital Programme.

Alice Webster, chief executive at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said: “It is a really exciting day.

“This will enable us to start to build the new hospital on the old car park that is fit for the future. It is the start of our new journey.

Building work has started in the first phase for a new state- of -the -art hospital
Building work has started in the first phase for a new state- of -the -art hospital

"It is inspiring to watch. It is all about the future.”

A multi-storey car park will replace the Inspire Centre which has had many uses. It was the original home of the hospital trust’s social club as well as housing the Montessori nursery and, most recently, it was used by thousands of staff and residents in the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

One family who visited the centre for that purpose witnessed the demolition process today.

Jess and Jake Smith and their children Josie and Jed watched as a cherry picker ripped into the top of the building.

Jake, Jess, Josie and Jed Smith watch the demolition process
Jake, Jess, Josie and Jed Smith watch the demolition process

Mrs Smith said: “We home educate our children and Jed is hoping to see the building knocked down.

“It is nice to see the site changing.

“The kids had vaccinations here at the Inspire Centre which is why they are excited.“

The new car park will be built in two phases, the first of which will provide 500 parking spaces and the second, to be built alongside a new hospital, will create a further 879 spaces. Together these will replace the existing car park at the hospital.

Work is expected to start on the new car park this year.

Paul Brooks, director of estates and facilities with Nichola Hunter, deputy director of estates and facilities
Paul Brooks, director of estates and facilities with Nichola Hunter, deputy director of estates and facilities

Paul Brooks, director of estates and facilities at the QEH, said the demolition was the “exciting start” of the journey to a “much-needed” new hospital.

“What is really great is that there is a real buzz around the site. It has finally started and is happening. It is a real opportunity as new departments develop so it is easier for patients.”

The cherrypicker gets to work on the Inspire Centre at the Queen ElizabethHospital
The cherrypicker gets to work on the Inspire Centre at the Queen ElizabethHospital

Mr Brooks said maintaining access for patients and staff was at the top of the team’s list of priorities.

“We will inform patients as work goes ahead and this is a significant building as regards to the plans,” he added.

“Maintaining access is key so that manufacturers on site are able to deliver their plans.

“The centre has been a big part of this site for many years. It has done its job for the NHS up until the last moment.”

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital site
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital site

Nichola Hunter, deputy director of estates and facilities, added: “It will change the landscape as you drive into the hospital and will enable our reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) programme and allow us to get ready for the new hospital.”

Some of the construction work will happen on this site, with other parts built separately which will slot in.

Mr Brooks said: “This is a real opportunity for local business and the community. It will bring work into the area.”

“When people come into the hospital it is already difficult and we don’t want to add to those anxieties,” he added.

During these phases, people visiting the hospital will see the difference as construction progresses.

There might be some delays at the site due to movement of works traffic and some disruption to car parking.

An aerial view of the Inspire Centre being knocked down
An aerial view of the Inspire Centre being knocked down

Officials are advising local residents to be aware that during demolition it is expected that there will also be some noise and dust.

“Measures have been put in place by the contractor undertaking the work to keep this to a minimum, however some dust is inevitable and QEH apologises for any nuisance this may cause,” a spokesperson said.

“All car parking spaces adjacent to the building and the road next to it will be remain safely open for use while the work is under way.”

Staff and onlookers saw the first bricks demolished
Staff and onlookers saw the first bricks demolished

Residents can keep up-to-date with the development of a new QEH at https://newqeh.org.uk/.

The hospital is also appealing for anyone with memories of the Inspire Centre – perhaps who attended a big celebration there – to share their memories and pictures with Team QEH to help curate a database of historic objects and pieces as the journey towards a new QEH begins.

You can send your memories and pictures to communicationsQEH@qehkl.nhs.uk.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More