24 MAY 2023


A new six-storey building at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital has celebrated its ‘topping out’ milestone.

The 23,000m2 BEACH Building will house a new maternity unit and children’s unit, as well as an enhanced emergency department, which is larger than the existing facilities at the Royal Bournemouth and Poole Hospital combined, and a 30-bed critical care unit. 

When it opens in spring 2025, it will enable the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to become the major emergency hospital for Dorset.

Siobhan Harrington, chief executive of University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust (UHD), who attended the ceremony with Dr Isabel Smith, UHD’s medical director for transformation, said: “The BEACH Building, when it welcomes patients in 2025, will help create a hospital specialising in emergency care at the Royal Bournemouth, while at Poole, we are putting the finishing touches to our new operating theatres complex - creating the major planned hospital for Dorset. 

“As we plan for the future services, we remain focused on the present, and the responsibility to continue to deliver high-class care for all our patients.”  

The ceremony to mark the milestone was hosted by Integrated Health Projects (IHP), an alliance between VINCI Building UK and Sir Robert McAlpine. Lord Markham, Under Secretary of State for the Department of Health and Social Care, and Jacqueline Smith, deputy lieutenant of Dorset, attended the event alongside staff from UHD. 

As part of the ceremony, dating back to the Roman era, the guests were led to the top of the BEACH Building by a bagpiper where a symbolic tightening of bolts took place, and an evergreen bough was nailed to the structure. This was followed by an exchange of tankards to symbolise a job well done.

Lord Markham said: “It was an honour to attend the topping out ceremony of Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s new BEACH Building, backed by over £168m of government investment.

“This building will improve birth, emergency and critical care services, and children's health services, making a significant difference in helping cut waiting times for patients in Dorset by serving nearly 145,000 patients a year.

“We continue to work closely with the NHS to improve services and this new building is part of over 70 hospital upgrades we’re delivering across the country, on top of 40 new hospitals.”

John Roberts, managing director at IHP and VINCI Building, said: “The project represents significant investment in the UHBP site to provide a new state-of-the-art A&E department. This scheme will serve local people in the city, Poole and wider Dorset community providing improved patient journeys and outcomes for years to come.” 

Hector McAlpine, executive partner at Sir Robert McAlpine and IHP Board member, said: “This topping out ceremony provides an opportunity to celebrate the exemplary collaboration and the technical excellence displayed throughout by the project team and hospital staff. IHP are proud to work with UHD on the BEACH Building and we look forward to delivering this state-of-the-art facility for Dorset’s communities.”

The construction work has been designed to minimise disruptions to the Royal Bournemouth site for the duration of the project, with the BEACH Building itself set to open in autumn 2024. The project is part of a wider £250m investment to transform UHD’s hospitals.


Owned by the industry; acting on behalf of the industry. Delivering the intelligence that is critical to success in infrastructure.

Visit website  arrow