BELFAST is to get a new children’s hospital.
The £250 million plan -revealed by Stormont Finance Minister Simon Hamilton – will replace the current facility in the grounds of the Royal Victoria Hospital in west Belfast.
The money comes from a pot of cash which has gathered together following an underspend across other government departments.
The Department of Health is to receive £52m.
It plans to pump £15.5m of the extra cash towards the new hospital which is expected to be opened by 2020/2021.
Work could start on the project by early 2014.
The Finance Ministers said he was “shocked and ashamed” at the conditions he found during a recent visit to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
He has also approved plans a dual carriageway on the A26 Frosses Road in Co Antrim.
“The allocations I have announced today will leave a lasting economic impact on Northern Ireland, boost our economy as the recovery gathers momentum and provide assistance for vulnerable people in our society,” Mr Hamilton said.
“I am especially pleased that we are able to fund a new regional children’s hospital and significant strategic roads improvements.”
Health Minister Edwin Poots said the money would help provide services fit for the 21st century for children.
“A replacement regional children’s hospital is a major project that I have been keen to take forward, particularly as parts of the current facilities are nearly 100 years old,” he said.
“Securing this additional funding from the executive provides me with the opportunity to move this much needed project forward to ensure that our children will receive their care and treatment in a modern paediatric environment.”