New jobs to be created at Eastwood Park's proposed training hub
NEARLY 20 jobs will be created at a new state-of-the-art healthcare training centre in Falfield, if the hub is approved by planning chiefs on Thursday.
Eastwood Park's proposal to tear down its outdated buildings and instead move all its training facilities in one large venue on the estate's Hutted Camp is due to be debated by South Gloucestershire councillors on August 29.
The conference and training centre's directors also submitted plans to build 20 private homes on the 200-acre site to fund the scheme.
Despite some opposition, including from Falfield Parish Council, they told the Gazette ahead of the meeting they felt confident the new international centre would boost the local economy by opening up 19 new jobs and safeguarding 44 posts at Eastwood Park.
The new training hub, which would simulate a hospital environment allowing health professionals to familiarise themselves with new medical equipment and technology, would be the only one of its kind in the world.
Eastwood Park chief executive John Thatcher said that if the application were refused, the business would have to relocate to more suitable facilities elsewhere.
"This application is vitally important to the future of Eastwood Park Ltd," he said.
"Without the new training facilities it is likely the business would need to relocate away from its historic home and could bring into question the whole of the 200-acre country estate including the Eastwood Park mansion house."
Concerns have specifically been raised by Tim Cawood, whose five-year-old son James was born with no immune system and has been in and out of hospital his entire life.
Breaking up the concrete pads left behind when the army barracks were removed from the Hutted Camp site, situated just yards away from the Cawood's home, would release spores and would place James at serious risk of infection, he told the Gazette earlier this month.
But Eastwood Park directors, who have pledged to be good neighbours, promised to make every effort to keep disruption and the impact on James and his family to a minimum.
"We are very much aware of the unfortunate circumstances of the young person who lives close to the Eastwood Park estate, having met with the family on several occasions during the last couple of year," added Mr Thatcher.
"We are working on a Construction Management Plan to help limit the impact on this family, which will include offering alternative accommodation at an appropriate time. We hope this will go some way to easing their concerns."
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