WORK to start building a new, £30 million hospital will begin in spring next year.

The Berwick Infirmary, managed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is due to be rebuilt.

The hospital's inpatient ward was temporarily closed, but has since reopened, and oncology and ambulatory care services were temporarily relocated as mitigation work was carried out on the site to protect staff and patients from noise and dust.

All minor injury unit, maternity and other outpatient department services have remained at the infirmary throughout.

Demolition work is progressing well and the next phase of work will see the theatre block floor slab taken up and the old Cheviot block foundations. It is planned to demolish the physio block and the energy centre/chimney towards the end of January.

Archaeological work, which is around 40 to 50 per cent complete, has shed light on the history of the town.

The work, being carried out by Northern Archaeological Associates, has now moved onto a western section of the site near the Brucegate entrance and has resulted in a further two wells being discovered. The most recent dates back to around the 1820s and it is believed that this well belongs to the former poor house immediately opposite on Brucegate. An old access route through the town which will have been used to get to different settlements has also been discovered.

A spokesperson for the trust said: "Our staff have done a phenomenal job over the last few months and we appreciate their hard work, flexibility and resilience very much."