Designs unveiled for flagship hospital retail centre


Capita Symonds reveals plans for new \'Welcome Centre\' at Bristol Royal Infirmary

Designs have been unveiled for a ground-breaking new reception area at Bristol Royal Infirmary; a development that is expected to create a blueprint for future hospital projects.

Capita Symonds has revealed its proposals for the £4.95m ‘Welcome Centre’, one of the most innovative facilities of its kind in the UK.

Commissioned by the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust, the existing reception and main waiting area will be redeveloped to provide approximately 530sq m of retail space, including a coffee shop, newsagents, food outlet, clothing and gift shop and a pharmacy.

Due to be completed by the end of the year, it will also provide an improved, glass-fronted entry point to the hospital for patients and visitors with enhanced wayfinding and information resources and will feature a specially-commissioned vertical art installation.

The Welcome Centre will feature a number of retail outlets as well as improved waiting areas for patients and visitors

The Welcome Centre will feature a number of retail outlets as well as improved waiting areas for patients and visitors

In addition, the internal layout of the second level will be adapted and extended to create an open space interconnected to the main circulation route, providing further accommodation for retail outlets.

The Welcome Centre also has a unique financial model, which has been developed by Capita Symonds and is funded through the income derived from the retail operations.

Andy Headdon, strategic programme director for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The scheme provides a new main entrance at level two on Upper Maudlin Street, which will be easily identifiable instead of people searching for it as they do now.

"The intention is to increase the footprint of level two building out to the pavement to enhance trust services, provide a new reception and information centre and a range of retail outlets, leading through to the new lift core for the new building. We are looking to enhance patient and visitor experiences and make it easier to find your way around. We are trying to establish something much more welcoming, more light and airy."

Robert Woolley, chief executive, added: "Altering the front entrance to our main hospital precinct has been something I have wanted to achieve for many years and I am delighted that we will finally have an outstanding, welcoming, bright entrance for the many hundreds of thousands of patients and visitors we care for each year."

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The development has just received planning permission from Bristol City Council and work is expected to start on site this summer.