Work is gathering pace on the Friarage Hospital’s new surgical hub, with the first bricks now firmly in place.

They were laid last Friday by Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister and MP for Richmond, along with Sarah Baker, head of clinical services for peri-operative medicine, theatres and critical care medicine, and James Dunbar, clinical collaborative chair for the Friarage and community services.

The new £35.5m surgical hub, which is due to open in 2025, will enable the Northallerton hospital to more than double the number of planned operations it carries out each year.

Darlington and Stockton Times: James Dunbar and Rishi Sunak on the Friarage surgical hub site

It will replace the hospital’s five existing operating theatres with a modern surgical hub that will include six main operating theatres, two minor operating theatres and a surgical admissions unit and day hub.

The structural steel framework of the new building and concrete floor slabs are now complete, with façade brickwork, steel framing and cladding systems to all elevations now underway.

"It's fantastic to see the work that has already been completed on this important project for the future of our Friarage Hospital," said Mr Sunak.

Darlington and Stockton Times: An artist's impression of how the finished hub will look

"I look forward to seeing it finished early in 2025 and operating by the spring of next year. The surgical hub is a vital element in the development of the hospital, ensuring that it continues to serve our community and bringing hospital services closer to patients."

Mr Dunbar said the hub will provide "world-class facilities for our patients for decades to come”.

Ms Baker added: “The new surgical hub will be an exciting to place to work, in a fantastic new environment.

“It’s an opportunity for the local population to have their operations closer to home and benefit from stateof-the-art facilities with market-leading technologies.”

The Friends of the Friarage charity is trying to raise £200,000 to buy cutting-edge eye surgery equipment for the new hub. It would allow patients to undergo vitreo-retinal (VR) treatment in Northallerton rather than travelling to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

To donate, see