WORK on a new £15 million hospital for Machynlleth could start early next year.

Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) has approved the business case for the project, which will now go to the Welsh Government for approval.

At a board meeting on Wednesday, September 30, director of planning and property Hayley Thomas, said: “I’m really pleased to present the full business case for the Bro Dyfi hospital health and wellbeing project for Machynlleth.

“This is a really exciting development that supports the delivery of the model of care for Powys developed as part of a long term 10 year strategy.

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“This investment will help us reshape the way community health and wellbeing services are being delivered for the area, and include the integration of primary care services by relocating the Dyfi Valley health practice within the hospital setting.”

She also said that the new hospital would have an “enhanced range” of outpatient and walk in care.

Other improvements will see better children’s facilities as well as mental health services.

Ms Thomas explained that the the investment ties in with the PTHB “community hub concept” to improve access to health and social care and wellbeing by working with the community and voluntary sectors.

Ms Thomas added: “I’m pleased to be able to say that we’ve received all the necessary planning approvals for the scheme.

“We’ve agreed the necessary highways work that was required.”

She also said that they had were in the process of agreeing a deal for a small parcel of land earmarked for a junction.

The scheme would also address a backlog of maintenance issues estimated to cost £4.269 million.

Ms Thomas said: “We hope Welsh Government approval will be able to come through by early next year, hopefully January.

“The revised value is £14.923 million.”

Board Chairman, Professor Vivienne Harpwood, said: “It’s wonderful to see something that was originally built as a dreadful workhouse, being transformed into a modern unit.

“We’re keen to see that happen.”

Independent board member, Mark Taylor added: “Hopefully the Welsh Government can look at it favourably and weather permitting we’ll be starting in January.”

Parts of the workhouse will be demolished to allow for various, sound and fire proofing upgrades.

The changes also including re-plan of the existing car parking areas and opening up of the entrance areas.

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.