Contractor Laing O’Rourke was due to begin construction in April 2010.
But the coalition government put a hold on all major health projects despite preliminary work being under way and buildings demolished at West Cumberland.
Lansley said: “While other new hospital schemes are being considered in the context of the Spending Review, Cumberland will be treated on an exceptional basis, given its stage of development, evident priority and the relationship with local economic redevelopment through the energy coast programme.”
He added: “The Government remains committed to consider all future hospital projects to ensure value for money and affordability of these schemes. Only priority projects will receive Government support.”
The North West Development Agency is contributing £10m to the redevelopment, the Strategic Health Authority another £10m, and the North Cumbria University Hospital Trust has also put in £10m.
The hospital development
- building a new modern A&E unit that is accessible by helicopter and provides access to key departments such as critical care
- a single operating theatre suite close to ward areas instead of theatres dispersed at various locations
- increasing the proportion of single rooms to meet the 50% minimum single sex accommodation requirement
- refurbishment of the women and children’s unit
- demolishing deficient buildings to make space for improved parking facilities