I AM ABSOLUTELY delighted that the cabinet secretary for health, Vaughan Gething, confirmed plans to build the new specialist and critical Care Centre during a visit to the Falls Clinic at Canalside recently.

Based in Cwmbran, the new centre is expected to receive around £350 million investment, and will treat patients who need complex and acute emergency care, working with other major acute hospitals. It is anticipated that the SCCC will be ready to deliver services by autumn of 2021.

I have campaigned for the new hospital for many years and I’m delighted that the people of Torfaen and Gwent will finally get the hospital that they deserve.

My campaigning for the SCCC won’t stop here. I’ve sought assurances from the Welsh Government that a close eye will be kept on the development to ensure this project is now driven forward with pace and will benefit the local economy, with as much local procurement as possible creating jobs and training opportunities in Torfaen.

The developer, Lang O’ Rourke, has made a commitment to ensure opportunities for local manufacturers are maximised when awarding contracts to suppliers and to ensure as much local recruitment and opportunities for training are provided for local people.

Locally, the developer will work with a range of stakeholders to maximise these opportunities that have arisen as a result of this new build. This includes Jobcentre Plus, Careers Wales, and local schools and colleges through the use of National Frameworks to offer local opportunities for employment.

An important role of the developer will be engaging and supporting the local community. Lang O’Rourke has well developed initiatives to benefit community projects, local schools and charities, which will also be supported by the Health Board.

I will continue to put the pressure on the Welsh Government to ensure that the SCCC is delivered on time and on budget. If you have any views that you would like me to feed in, please contact me: lynne.neagle@assembly.wales or 01495 740022.