NHS Lothian has reached an agreement with property developer Downing Group for the sale of the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children site in Edinburgh.
The deal will see the Liverpool-based developer take ownership of the site when patients and staff move to a new £150m facility next year.
The Royal Hospital for Sick Children is an iconic site that spans over 1.62 hectares (4.01 acres) in the Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield conservation area and includes a range of listed properties. Ownership is split over NHS Lothian and Edinburgh and the Lothians Health Foundation charity.
Jacquie Campbell, chief officer for acute services at NHS Lothian, said: “The decision to move the services from the current site and dispose of the site was not an easy one to make. The legacy of the Royal Hospital for Sick Kids dates back to 1863 and since 1895 the hospital at Sciennes Road has been home to thousands of children and their families in the building many have grown to call ‘the sick kids’.
“Although the site has a developer lined up to take ownership of the site, patients and their families can rest assured that no changes will be made to the current facilities until they are set to move to their new location in the £150m Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Little France next year.”
David Fraser, partner with Ryden, adviser to NHS Lothian, added: “The property was put up for sale in November 2016 and naturally generated a great deal of interest which resulted in 21 formal bids being received in early 2017.
“After carefully consideration, six bidders were invited to provide additional clarifications whereby the Downing Groups was selected as preferred bidder.”
Overseeing the process is Jim Crombie, deputy chief executive of NHS Lothian, who said: “It has been a competitive process, but the prospective purchaser showed keen interest in the important legacy for the site through their proposed mixed-use development which will also provide significant capital support to the new hospital.
“Downing is still formulating their detailed plans and we anticipate further community engagement will take place as the developer prepares its planning applications.”