HC Deb 08 February 1977 vol 925 cc1209-10
5. Mr. Thorne

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what final date for completion of the new Preston Hospital can be envisaged, given reasonable progress by the contractors.

The Minister of State, Department of Health and Social Security (Mr. Roland Moyle)

It is expected that the main development of the new Preston Hospital will be completed by March 1980.

Mr. Thorne

Does my hon. Friend recognise that there is considerable satisfaction in Preston that this project is to go ahead? Will he, however, give further consideration to whether, in view of the general unemployment problems that we face in Lancashire, there might not be a way to persuade the contractor to reach an earlier completion date than the one which he has given?

Mr. Moyle

I shall take my hon. Friend's views into account, of course. Phase 2 of the contract is due to start before phase 1 is finished. There will be an overlap there, and this will assist with the problems to which my hon. Friend drew attention.