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Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital to anticipates 40 per cent of workforce used for redevelopment will be from Harrow
Hundreds of jobs look set to be created after major redevelopment plans at a hospital described as the borough's "crown jewel" got the go-ahead.
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore said it would spend an extra £20million over the next two years after Harrow Borough Council's planning committee unanimously voted in favour of its proposals.
The hospital's governing trust says 40 per cent of the workforce involved in construction will be from Harrow, and there are proposals for at least 10 apprenticeships for which young people from the area are guaranteed an interview.
The plans had attracted concerns from conservationists and neighbours over traffic, but the hospital pledge to minimise the impact of the new site.
It said the revamp was badly needed because more than half of its buildings are more than 60 years old and many wards were originally designed for temporary use.
Planning committee chairman Councillor Keith Ferry said: “Personally I am very glad the application has been approved.
“When I went to the site I got the impression the hospital had taken over a Second World War army camp.
“It is amazing how a hospital with those facilities has achieved such quality.
“This is a jewel in the crown of Harrow.”
After the plans were approved Rob Hurd, the hospital's chief executive, said: “It is a great day.
“Momentum has been building behind us. We are major centre and patients come from all over the country to see us.
“As I said during the meeting we are part of the community and we will work with it.”
The hospital spends £65m on staff wages every year and nearly a third of its 1,300 employees are from the local area.
It was recently ranked seventh best out of 146 in England in a 'Quality Index' report published by health policy and communications consultancy MHP Health.