John Radcliffe Welcome Centre completes ahead of time

Facility provides new atrium and retail centre for patients, staff and visitors

Construction of the new Welcome Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford has been completed ahead of programme.

Following completion of the construction work by property developer, Larkstoke Properties, the 11,38 sq ft Welcome Centre has been sold to Oxford Hospital Assets.

Tim Hurdiss of Larkstoke said: “We are delighted to see the new Welcome Centre completed. The end result is a vast improvement on the previous entrance and reception area and we’re looking forward to seeing the patients, staff and relatives at the hospital feel the full benefit of it.

“Throughout the project we have worked closely with the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, especially during the construction phase, and as with every project there were challenges along the way, but the end result is a dramatically-improved retail offer and first-class facilities.”

The development comprises three retail units occupied by WHSmith, Marks & Spencer Simply Foods and Marks & Spencer Café, along with a new reception, waiting area and patient advice and liaison facilities occupied by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, together with new public toilets and baby change/feed facilities.

Construction works started in February with a temporary entrance being created to ensure that throughout the construction phase the main entrance remained open. This was particularly important as an estimated 16,000 people use the entrance every week.

Chris Welch, business development manager UK hospitals for WHSmith, said: “We're really excited to have opened our new facilities at the John Radcliffe Hospital, all of which are trading very successfully. Working as a franchise partner with Marks & Spencer and Larkstoke, we're keen to open similar retail units at other hospitals throughout the UK.”

Beneficial Contracts were appointed by Larkstoke as the building contractor to allow the scheme to be built. A forward commitment to purchase was entered into with Oxford Hospital Assets for just over £3m, which was concluded following completion of the building works, representing a net initial yield of circa 9.5% based on the rent generated by occupational leases. In addition a substantial capital premium was paid to Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust in respect of the ground leasehold interest.

On the back of the successful completion at the John Radcliffe, Larkstoke has already opened discussions with other hospital trusts about similar projects.

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