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Princess Royal opens multi-million Dumfries infirmary

The Princess Royal officially opened a new multi-million-pound hospital in Dumfries, Scotland.

Costing around £214 million, work officially started on the new hospital in June 2015, with the construction phase being completed on time and on budget last year by the High Wood Health consortium which included Laing O’Rourke.

The facilities first staff and patients moved into the 344-bed Dumfries Infirmary in early December last year.

The official opening ceremony was held at the Garroch roundabout site which replaced the old facility on the town’s Bankend Road.

The Princess Royal was welcomed by staff and dignitaries including the Minister for Mental Health, community representatives and many of the people involved with the hospital’s design and build.

She was then taken on a tour of the new state-of-the-art building, where she was introduced to over 70 members of staff.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s chief operating officer Julie White said the official opening was the culmination of a “lot of hard work” to deliver a “fantastic new hospital”.

The royal visit to the region continued with a trip to officially open the new art gallery in Kirkcudbright, which was previously the town hall.

Up to 40,000 people a year are expected to visit the gallery with Landseer’s The Monarch of the Glen painting being one of the star attractions when the gallery opened its doors to the public in early June.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s deputy leader Rob Davidson said he was “absolutely delighted” to welcome the Princess Royal.

“It gives the gallery the prominence and significance for the whole country that we really set out to achieve,” he said.

“It was always quite an ambition I think for a little town in the south west of Scotland to have an art gallery of national significance.”

“I think we have delivered that in the quality of the place itself.”

“The fact that we have an official royal opening is really the seal of approval that what we have created is something which is genuinely a nationally significant venue.”

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