Construction work has begun on a new accommodation complex for NHS staff and medical students working at Yeovil Hospital.

The key milestone in the project was marked by a turf cutting ceremony held on 15 March 2019 on the site of the town’s former Nautilus Works, just off the A30 at Reckleford, where the new accommodation complex will be built. There to mark the occasion were Jonathan Higman (Chief Executive, Yeovil Hospital), Paul von der Heyde (Trust Chairman, Yeovil Hospital), Leighton Chumbley, Chief Executive of development partner Prime and Chris Watkins, Contracts Manager of construction firm Speller Metcalfe.

The key worker accommodation scheme is the latest project to be funded by Canada Life and delivered through Yeovil Hospital’s strategic estates partnership with Prime. To date, the joint venture has delivered the Hospital’s new multi-storey car park and link road, an Emergency Assessment Unit, outpatient waiting area and a special care baby unit.

Jonathan Higman, Chief Executive, Yeovil Hospital said: “This was an exciting moment for the hospital. The accommodation being built will provide frontline staff with modern, high-quality accommodation, just yards from the hospital site.

“It’s an investment into our future and one which will help us recruit and retain employees whilst adding to the vibrancy of the wider community.”

Leighton Chumbley, Chief Executive at Prime said: “The key worker accommodation complex is a much-needed scheme, which will not only improve the lives of the hardworking and dedicated NHS staff and students who work at the hospital, but it will also breathe new life into a town centre site which has been derelict for a number of years. The turf cutting ceremony celebrates our progress onto the next phase in the scheme, turning plans into real transformation for the town and the hospital workers who support it.”

Chris Watkins, Contracts Manager at Speller Metcalfe said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to partner with Prime and Yeovil Hospital to deliver this fantastic new accommodation complex and are looking forward to the construction phase starting. We will be using our experience of building first-class residential accommodation to deliver the modern, comfortable and high-quality facilities the NHS workers and medical students deserve for the tremendous job they do for their community.”

Designed by One Creative Environments Ltd (One), the accommodation complex will provide 176 bedrooms in total, in a mixture of one, two, four- and eight-bedroom apartments. Located just 500m from the Hospital, the scheme also includes shared living spaces and landscaped gardens to enable staff and students to socialise and relax away from work.

Planning permission for the key worker accommodation project was awarded by South Somerset District Council planners in November last year, and £20m of funding was secured for the build by Prime in December 2018. With building contractors now on site, the project is expected to be completed by late summer 2020.

Enquiries about the project can be sent to


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BDC 303 Apr 2023