A LONG-AWAITED £2.2m health centre that has been at least 16 years in the making is finally coming to fruition.
Work has begun on the state-of-the-art facility that will serve the villages of Wheatley Hill, Thornley and Kelloe.
Foundations have been laid on the complex, in Thornley Road, Wheatley Hill and the first layer of bricks have been laid.
The plans, for a GP surgery and associated services, have existed in some form or another for around 16 years and some thought they would never come off.
But one man who kept faith was Durham county councillor Morris Nicholls, who represents Trimdon and Thornley.
He said: “Lots of people said this would never happen, but I said it would, and I feel really great today because it’s there and it’s happening.
“If it wasn’t for Chloe Taylor from the development team and Joseph Chandy this would never have happened.”
The development, led by Dr N Mahto and Partners, and carried out by Surgo, should be complete by March next year. The existing surgery will be demolished and a car park put in its place by late April.
Mrs Taylor said: “It’s been talked about in some form or other for the past 16 years and at last, now people can believe it.”
Follow progress by searching Wheatley Hill Surgery Development on Facebook.