Main construction work to deliver two new north-east hospitals is due to start in January.
NHS Grampian said it is delighted that the delivery of the £233 million Baird Family Hospital and ANCHOR Centre in Aberdeen has reached a new milestone.
The full business case was approved by the Scottish Government on September 23, which allowed the construction contract with GRAHAM to be concluded.
Work is scheduled to begin in January, with a programme of site mobilisation activities to be completed in the period up to Christmas.
This includes lowering a number of lampposts adjacent to the planned site on Westburn Road, which began on October 12.
The two new hospitals are aimed to modernise patient care at the Foresterhill Health Campus, with the ANCHOR Centre planned to open in May 2023, and the Baird Family Hospital scheduled for December 2023.
Site preparatory works took place last year and included existing buildings demolished, roads realigned and a range of service diversions undertaken.
NHS Grampian chairwoman Professor Lynda Lynch said: “The formal signing of the Baird and ANCHOR contract and the support from the Scottish Government for this project is fantastic news for health services in the north-east.
“These world class facilities will provide tremendous benefits to our patients and staff and will support our ambitions to enhance research and create a first-class teaching environment.”
Earlier this year, the Evening Express revealed the first look inside what the new hospitals could look like.
The Baird Family Hospital will encompass maternity services, while the ANCHOR Centre will host cancer care.
Areas have been designed with patients in mind, to help make sure stays are more comfortable.
There will also be a link bridge created to improve safety in transferring babies to and from the neonatal unit, and new transitional care rooms created to help free up specialist beds.
The health board’s chief executive, Professor Amanda Croft added: “I am extremely proud that we are able to move forward with these two significant developments and for the dedication and support of our staff, patients and partners in achieving this outcome. The new facilities have been designed with significant thought to the care we provide to our patients and their families and we look forward to the construction programme commencing.”
Meanwhile, project director Jackie Bremner added: “This exciting milestone is the culmination of six years of hard work involving hundreds of people including clinical staff, patients and patient groups, members of the public, designers, construction and project team colleagues”.
“Now that all approvals are in place and the construction contract has been concluded we can begin to plan for commencement of the main works early in 2021”.
Gary Holmes, regional managing director for GRAHAM, said: “This is a major milestone for the business, moving us on to the next level of project delivery.
“Our project team has shown an unrivalled level of dedication and commitment to get to this point. We look forward to working with NHS Grampian and their stakeholders throughout the construction phase.”