THE Aldershot Centre for Health has been thrown a lifeline following Friday’s last-ditch attempts to save the project.
Managers and advisers from the Blackwater Valley and Hart Primary Care Trust (PCT) and developer Wilky Healthcare met on Friday afternoon to thrash out an agreement over rent for the new building.
And while a deal has yet to be struck, the two parties seem to have found some common ground.
In a joint statement released yesterday, Wilky and PCT spokesmen said: “We are pleased to report that progress has been made and look forward to meeting again later this week.”
Rushmoor Council chief executive Andrew Lloyd cautiously welcomed the news.
He said: “I’m just encouraged that discussions are ongoing but I hope these discussions will come to a conclusion fairly soon.
“There was a possibility that things would have come to the end of the road on Friday and that hasn’t happened and that’s a good thing because it means there is definitely something there worth discussing, which a couple of weeks ago seemed to be in doubt.”
But elsewhere in the council patience with the negotiations seems to be running out.
At a meeting of the community policy and review panel last Thursday, which PCT chief executive Debbie Glenn attended, Cllr Mike Roberts said: “I think there comes a time when basically we need to set a deadline for when to move this thing forward. There have been more episodes to this than EastEnders so far.
“There has to be some movement or that moves the value for money issue by the end of this month — then as far as I’m concerned we are really going to have to look for other options.”
The Centre for Health project almost collapsed last month when it was announced the developer had withdrawn from negotiations.
Since then a series of emergency talks have been held between the PCT and Wilky Healthcare.
If the scheme goes ahead a unique facility will be built at the top of Hospital Hill.
The joint military and civilian project would see the relocation of the three GP surgeries based in the existing Aldershot Health Centre and an enhanced range of healthcare services including district nurses, child specialists, psychiatrists and dentists as well as audiology and X-ray rooms.