The Ridge Medical Practice in Bradford is one of the busiest surgeries in the North of England, but in 2007 it had outgrown its existing premises and urgently needed to update and expand its facilities to handle 21,000 patients.
Nick Nurden is the business manager at Ridge Medical Practice and was in charge of determining the best way of expanding. “The facilities we had before were crammed and not a nice environment for the patients to come to, nor as welcoming as we’d have liked. In addition communication within the practice team was difficult because we were split across two different sites,” explains Nurden.
When looking to expand there were two options: to either use a third party developer or to self-build. Nurden initially felt that in order to manage the risks associated with such a major expansion the practice needed to go down the third party developer route. However the downside of that option was that it wouldn’t necessarily deliver the design of building the practice wanted.
NatWest was able to help Nurden’s decision. Maxine Gay, Relationship Manager at the Bank says: “I asked Nick why he hadn’t considered self-build. He explained his concerns were getting the right team of professionals around him because obviously if they got it wrong, it was a big project and it could prove quite expensive.
“I convinced him by explaining our experience in the sector and how we’d undertaken many of these projects before,” says Gay.
The practice now has a site worth £10m with a 25-year lease. For that £10m Ridge Medical Practice has bought, among other things: 24 consulting rooms, three training rooms, a pharmacy, a rehab gym and two minor surgery rooms.
“It is working fantastically,” adds Nurden. “The building has really created an environment that we wanted to create.”
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