House of Fraser left the complex in 2021. Credit: via Porterfield

Metrocentre’s House of Fraser to become health facility

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust have signed a long-term lease for a 40,000 sq ft community diagnostic centre.

The CDC facility will provide imaging, respiratory investigations and cardiac investigations with the centre designed to create capacity for these services that are seeing increased referrals – CDCs have increasingly been coming forward as health trusts look to improve access to screening and diagnostic services outside of hospital settings.

Plans to convert the department store into a health facility are being finalised. When completed, it will create extra capacity in the local health system while speeding up diagnoses for patients, enabling better patient care and better outcomes.

House of Fraser closed its doors at the retail destination in September 2021.

In a joint statement, Trudie Davies, chief executive at Gateshead Health and Dame Jackie Daniel, chief executive at Newcastle Hospitals said: “We are both delighted to be working with the Metrocentre on this important project.

“The lease being signed is our next move towards the development of the community diagnostic centre at the Metrocentre. The new centre will provide a much-needed boost to diagnostic services in our region and is excellent news for patients in Gateshead and Newcastle – making it easier for people to access the care they need, closer to home.”

Ben Cox of Sovereign Centros, senior asset manager for Metrocentre, said: “We are delighted to confirm that the new NHS Community Diagnostics Hub will be coming to Metrocentre. The letting represents a major milestone in the evolution of the Centre.

“Metrocentre is renowned as a leading retail and leisure destination, but in the future it will also be a key regional location for alternative uses including healthcare. Key characteristics of extensive free car parking and superb connectivity to public transport offer occupiers a compelling option when considering where to base themselves. The CDC will bring new jobs and significant new footfall to Metrocentre to the benefit of all our occupiers.”

Cllr Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, added: “It’s great to see plans for the CDC progressing. The signed lease brings us one step closer to a boost for our local economy, alongside the more obvious benefits of making key healthcare services more accessible for everyone.

“It’s very good news for the communities of Gateshead and the wider region.”

Once open, the CDC will offer 145,000 appointments per year and create 134 jobs.

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