Groundworks at the former Swallow Hotel site are now complete, marking a significant milestone in the development of the long-awaited Tees Valley Community Diagnostics Centre in Stockton. This state-of-the-art facility will rise from the ashes of the once-familiar landmark, promising faster and more accessible diagnostic services for residents across the Tees Valley.

Demolition of the Castlegate Shopping Centre and Swallow Hotel in September 2023 paved the way for this ambitious project. A joint venture between North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals Trust, the centre aims to improve healthcare experiences by bringing key diagnostic services closer to patients’ homes.

Contractor Kier Construction completed the extensive excavation and foundation laying that define the groundworks phase. The building itself is expected to be finished by the end of 2024, with operations commencing in early 2025.

Early diagnosis plays a crucial role in improving health outcomes, and the Tees Valley Community Diagnostics Centre will undoubtedly contribute to this goal. Bringing essential services like MRIs, CT scans, and blood tests under one roof will streamline the process for patients while enhancing convenience and accessibility.

“This is the latest milestone in our ambition to provide faster and more-accessible diagnostic services for our population across the Tees Valley.” said Phil Woolfall, clinical director for radiology at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust “This diagnostic centre will help make healthcare available for all – offering rapid access to scans, tests, and health checks.”

Richard Hartley, consultant radiologist at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added “Diagnostic centres are the future of healthcare. The centre will also not only help improve health outcomes for our population but also to regenerate the town centre and surrounding area.”

Beyond healthcare, the project is intertwined with Stockton’s wider regeneration plans. The new centre, alongside other proposed developments, aims to revitalise the town centre and attract more people to the area. This development presents a fantastic opportunity to create a vibrant and healthy heart for Stockton, ultimately contributing to the town’s economic and social well-being.