Building work halted on £4million GP centre in Wirral

FEARS were growing last night for the future of a flagship medical centre in Wirral, after the contractor became insolvent.

The £3.9m Laird Street Medical Centre, in Birkenhead, was scheduled to be completed in October of this year by New Ferry-based contractor Felton Construction.

But, after talks with bankers at Natwest, directors of the firm called in administrators from Liverpool city centre-based Parkin S Booth.

The business, which employs 45 people, was established in 1985 and had a turnover of £32m in the year to December 31, 2008.

Last night, New Ferry councillor and member of Wirral’s economic regeneration committee, Steve Niblock, described the collapse as “another disappointing blow for the area”.

Cllr Niblock said: “Although the Miriam health centre was rebuilt fairly recently, Cavendish is in an old converted Victorian house and the North End of Birkenhead needs more modern facilities.

“The new building would provide those facilities for the GP practices, as well as a pharmacy and dental practice all under one roof.

“It’s still far from completed, and it’s quite a big building.

“Hopefully the PCT will be able to sort this out and the facility can be finished on time.”

Last night, Wirral PCT said: "The new practice is being developed by LSP and Assura.

"The building contractor was Felton. We were informed last Monday that unfortunately Feltons are in the process of formal insolvency.

"Assura and LSP will now be seeking an alternative building contractor.”

Jim Wilkie, deputy chief executive of Wirral Council, said they were “extremely saddened to learn that Felton Construction has gone into administration”.

He said: “The council has a long History of working with them on a number of successful projects in the past.

“There are no current projects with the council.”