Page last updated at 08:53 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 09:53 UK

Fears over Liverpool Royal's 451m hospital plans

Artist's impression of new Royal Liverpool
Work on the new hospital could start in 2012

Liverpool Council's deputy leader has written to the government over fears funding for the city's £451m hospital could be scrapped.

Paul Brant wants to meet with Chief Secretary of the Treasury David Laws to discuss the future of Royal Liverpool Hospital.

It is among scores of large-scale projects that are now under review by new Chancellor George Osborne.

Mr Brant said: "This project desperately needs to go ahead."

The former Labour government approved the new 643-bed hospital in March. The then health secretary, Andy Burnham, said the new Royal would "lead the way" in regional healthcare.

Trust bosses hope the development will transform health services for communities across the region and reduce health inequalities.

Mr Brant added: "We will ask for urgent clarification and a swift unfreezing of project funding.

"It has already suffered some delay, anyone who goes up to the Royal knows it is desperately in need of refreshment."

Building work on the new hospital will cost £328m and was set to be funded through Private Finance Initiative (PFI) cash.

The remaining £123m was earmarked on the purchasing of equipment and demolishing the old Royal.

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