THE NEW hospital development at Southmead is boosting the local economy with an increasing number of jobs and contracts awarded to companies in the greater Bristol area.

Figures have revealed that 83 per cent of the workforce involved in the construction of the new £430 million hospital live within 30 miles of the site.

And 60 per cent of materials used to build the super hospital are from South Gloucestershire and Bristol.

Since the new development started in 2010, 55 apprentices have been hired to work on the development, which is due to open in 2014.

North Bristol NHS Trust and support services and company Carillion, which is building the new hospital, had pledged from the outset to keep the project in the hands of local communities and award contracts to regional firms.

Tricia Down, deputy director of projects at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “We have worked closely with Carillion to ensure the new hospital promotes and supports our local economy.

“It is important to us that the new hospital is truly a facility for the communities and people of Bristol and South Gloucestershire not only when it opens in 2014 but during its construction.

“This building will mark the beginning of a new era in healthcare and it is fantastic to think that in years to come local people can say they helped to build the new Southmead Hospital."

The new hospital reaches its two-year construction milestone in August.

The state-of the art complex, which will be fitted the latest green technology and was designed with patients need for privacy in mind, will be the first of its kind in the country when it IIS inaugurated.

Keith Hutton, project manager for Carillion, said: “We are proud to be leading this historic construction and providing local people with jobs and local firms with contracts, particularly during a difficult period for the construction industries.

“We have worked hard to source the best materials, labour and expertise and the fact that many of them are from within 30 miles of the site underlines the region’s importance in leading the way in new and sustainable industries.”