ASSURANCES have been given that the £8 million upgrade for the Dyfi Valley hospital in Machynlleth should be completed by April 2022.

The upgrade was given the green light by Powys County Council’s (PCC) planning department in March, and had been expected to take around a year to complete.

But the work has been delayed as the building needs repairs or it will not be fit for purpose.

At PCC’s health and care scrutiny committee, Powys Teaching Health Board chief executive Carol Shillabeer met councillors to discuss a wide range of health issues.

At the meeting Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan (Glantwymyn) asked Ms Shillabeer, for a timetable for when the work would be completed.

Ms Shillabbeer said: “The commitment of the Board and Welsh Government remains complete around the proposal for Machynlleth hospital and taking it forward.

“We have had some challenges, planning and highways, which are now resolved and around the construction company.

“We are overcoming those challenges, we have an outline time-scale that we have given to the Minister (Welsh Government) as there are likely to be some additional costs.”

Ms Shillabeer added that after the Welsh Government sign off on the extra funding needed pre-construction work could start.

“I expect the work to have finished by the end of March 2022.

“It is quite a lot of work and the cost has risen.”

In December 2017, Welsh Government Health Secretary Vaughan Gething announced a £7.8 million scheme that would see Bro Ddyfi Community Hospital become a hub for a range of health and social services.

It was part of an announcement of £68 million to provide 19 new integrated health and care centres around Wales.

Aberystwyth’s Ysbyty Bronglais is the nearest district general hospital to Machynlleth and is 18 miles away (32 minutes) while Welshpool’s Victoria Memorial Hospital is 37 miles away (56 minutes).

For specialist services, residents may travel as far as Swansea or Wrexham.