A CONSORTIUM including York-based Shepherd Construction Ltd has announced that it is the preferred bidder for a new £65 million oncology and haematology hospital.

Shepherd will be the main contractor for the project in Hull and work is expected to start by the end of the year.

The consortium, called Healthcare Solutions, consists also of ABN AMRO Bank.

It procured the project under the Government's Private Finance Initiative Scheme.

It will design, construct and operate the new facility at Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, and the development will be one of the biggest capital investments in the region in the past 100 years.

The culmination of years of planning by Healthcare Solutions, the health authority and primary care trusts, the oncology and haematology development will provide treatment and palliative care for patients with cancer and blood disorders. It will be a UK centre of excellence for the treatment and care of patients using the latest technology and equipment available.

Vaughan Burnand, chief executive of Shepherd Construction said: "We are delighted to be part of this exciting major new development and look forward to delivering first class serviced facilities with our partners."

Updated: 11:36 Monday, January 31, 2005