One of Belfast’s best known landmarks could soon become a “centre for health and wellbeing” under proposals revealed today for a £100 million scheme to revitalise the Kings Hall and create up to 500 jobs.
Benmore Healthcare Developments is the firm behind the project to redevelop the site into what has been billed Northern Ireland’s first fully integrated health and social care hub.
King’s Hall Primary Care Centre is the first phase of wider proposals that will eventually seek to deliver a range of onsite integrated health, community and leisure facilities on the 16 acre site; including care for older people, gym, restaurants and hotel.
“The King’s Hall is a Belfast landmark synonymous for many years with the Balmoral agricultural show,” said Benmore Group CEO David Burrows.
“Our plan for King’s Hall is to create a landmark in healthcare. We will refurbish the art deco building restoring it to its former glory.
“Alongside a new adjoining building we will create a modern primary care centre.”
The overall development, he said, was a vison to create an integrated healthcare model which would be part of a wider lifestyle, leisure and well-being park.
“A space with care for the older people, hotel, gym, restaurants, crèche, and modern public and private healthcare facilities all located on one site,” he added.
“It will be an example of the highest quality primary and community care, improving people’s health and access to services.
Former Health & Social Care Board Chief Executive, John Compton MBE, a non-executive director of Benmore Healthcare Developments and advisor to the project said the project would create the opportunity for almost 50,000 people to access primary care services.
“Working directly alongside a range of more specialist services that might include district nursing, dentistry and occupational therapists, it will significantly improve patient outcomes,” he said.
“The site may also provide diagnostic services such as X-ray and near patient testing. These will not only improve outcomes but make it simpler for the citizen to navigate the system.”
The move towards greater integration of care was proposed under Transforming Your Care (TYC). Mr Compton chaired the strategic review of the Health Service in Northern Ireland which recommended development of healthcare hubs across Northern Ireland. “Delivering better healthcare outcomes and encouraging people to live healthier lifestyles require an improvement in access to better quality facilities and services. Development of King’s Hall will meet this need.”
The firm will be seeking views from the community in the surrounding area through a series of public exhibition events to take place from April to May.