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Health boss praises hospital staff for fire response

The fire broke out on Friday night Credit: ITV Border

The staff at the West Cumberland Hospital have been praised by the Trust's chief executive following Friday night's fire.

Anne Farrar has thanked staff for working to ensure that no patients were affected by the incident, including those who volunteered to come from home if they were needed.

She has also paid tribute to Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

“I would like to thank our staff for the outstanding commitment they have shown over the past few days.

"I spent Saturday going round West Cumberland Hospital to talk to staff and whilst everybody was understandably upset, they were all also wonderfully determined that the future is still very bright for the hospital.

“I would also like to thank the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service for their quick action on Friday night to ensure the fire was controlled as quickly as possible.”

– Ann Farrar, chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Fire sets back Whitehaven hospital opening by months

A fire in the energy centre of the new West Cumberland Hospital building will set back its opening by months.

The local MP Jamie Reed took this photo of the damage Credit: Jamie Reed

Copeland MP Jamie Reed said the news was "utterly devastating" and he will now write to the Department for Health asking that money is put in place to rebuild the centre as quickly as possible.

The fire broke out last night (Friday, 23rd January) in the biomass fuel plant, which was to provide the power for the hospital. No patients or services were affected but the NHS Trust said delays in opening the £100m building were inevitable. It had been due to open in April 2015.

'Devastating' fire at new West Cumberland Hospital

A fire has destroyed the energy centre at the new West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, which was due to open in April.

It broke out last night in the biomass fuel plant, which produces power for the building.

Firefighters spent four hours putting out the blaze and will now investigate what caused it.

The NHS Trust said no patients or services were affected, but the damage will delay the handover of the keys from developers to NHS staff, which was due to happen next week.

It could ultimately delay the moving-in date.

"This is absolutely devastating for me, the staff and the local community. We must let the investigators do their job to understand why this has happened at this time. We were all looking forward to moving into the new hospital and none of us can believe this has happened.”

– Ann Farrar, chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

New office opening 'great news'

Jamie Reed was among those who attended the opening of the new Westlake office Credit: Vanessa Jane Photography.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has opened its new Westlakes office, Pillar House.

The office, at the Westlakes Science Park near Whitehaven, can accommodate 180 employees, and 159 have already moved in.

Jamie Reed attended the opening, and described the office as great news for West Cumbria.

“The opening of the new Jacobs office is a clear commitment to the region and presents great opportunity.

"The new office will be home to many graduates, apprentices and trainees.

"This new investment, the new facilities and the support for young people is great news for West Cumbria.”

– Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland

Jacobs has 600 employees based across Cumbria.

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