As previously announced, the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) plans to build a new headquarters and Centre of Medical Excellence in the North. The project will benefit patients across the charity’s area – the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. Earlier this year, the charity applied for £1.9m of funding towards the project. The application was made to the Treasury, which controls a fund generated through fines imposed on banks for manipulating the inter-bank lending rate, commonly known as LIBOR.
Today, in his Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that GNAAS has been awarded £1m towards the project out of the fund.
Reacting to the news, Grahame Pickering MBE, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “Our vision remains to create a new base and a Centre of Medical Excellence for the benefit of people of the North.
“We had applied for £1.9m funding through the Treasury. This isn’t Government money, but a fund which was generated through fines imposed on banks for malpractice. The £1m we have been allocated is a welcome boost towards this project, though the £900k shortfall leaves us with some work to do to reach our target.
“It’s a shame that the decision leaves something of a question mark over a project which will ultimately save lives and ease suffering of patients, young and old.
“However, we are well accustomed to overcoming such hurdles and will be re-examining our contingency options to determine how best to make our dream become a reality.”
The charity’s board of trustees will meet on Friday to assess the options available and a further announcement will be made in due course.