The Executive Director of Economic Development submitted a report that outlined the proposals for developing a Health and Wellbeing Hub in the town centre based at Dundas House.
In March 2015, PHE announced that Middlesbrough Council's Public Health team (PH) had successfully secured £300,000 capital funding from Public Health England (PHE) to develop a Health and Wellbeing Hub to support local drug and alcohol recovery services. Prior to this, Lifeline, had secured £300,000 funding from the Big Lottery to develop a community gym to be delivered over three years with the funding commencing from April 2015. This capital funding presented an opportunity to co-locate a number of existing substance misuse recovery services, public health services and other well-being services into a centrally located Health and Wellbeing Hub. This would improve and enhance the health and well-being offer for local residents, improve service coordination, and achieve financial efficiencies.
The report outlined in detail the current arrangements for drugs and alcohol services within Middlesbrough as well as the proposal for the future Health and Wellbeing Hub.
In order to identify suitable accommodation (size, location and rent) for the Health and Wellbeing Hub a number of options had been considered. Following a review by the Council's Valuation and Estates team, and having assessed the existing council portfolio along with the external market, an appraisal of 'Reasonable Alternative' options had been explored and thoroughly considered and recommended Dundas House for the location of the hub.
That the option of developing the Health and Wellbeing Hub at Dundas House utilising the PHE capital fund, plus the Lifeline Big Lottery Funding for a community gym be approved.
The decision was supported by the following reasons:
High profile and high footfall area provides an opportunity to market the service and engage with the broader public on public health issues;
Provides appropriate accommodation and demonstrated value for money compared to the other options considered. The other buildings that were considered had neither the space nor the facilities appropriate for the HW Hub and, especially, suitability for the community gym provision;
The property is immediately available and allows the Council to progress with development of the hub in line with the timescales for the Public Health England and Big Lottery Funding; and
The hub brings into activity one of the towns long-term vacant properties.