MILLIONS of pounds has been given to Furness General Hospital bosses in the first step towards new facilities.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust has received £5million in seed funding from the government to develop plans to build two new hospitals - one in Barrow and one in Lancaster.

This investment follows on the back of a General Election pledge from the Conservatives to provide the funding for UHMBT to develop plans to adapt, grow or build new facilities in both Lancaster and Barrow.

The government announced 40 new hospitals could be built across England over the coming decade in September last year.

The trust has initially been given a share of £100m to begin planning the new-builds, which would be constructed between 2025 and 2030.

Simon Fell, Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness, said he was ‘delighted’ with the plans to develop a new hospital in Barrow.

He has described the funding as the ‘first step’ towards updating facilities for stroke care as well as additional services for oncology and dialysis.

He said: “I’m delighted that our local healthcare trust has now got the money to develop plans for a new hospital in Furness.

“Residents have told me time and again of the need to update facilities for stroke care and to bring additional services to our area like oncology and dialysis.

“This is the first step to that being realised.”

Aaron Cummins, chief executive of UHMBT, said he was ‘thrilled’ with the announcement.

He said: “We are thrilled to be one of 21 trusts to be receiving funding to develop a business case, alongside Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“For us, it is about much more than buildings; it will allow us to explore the possibility of creating a modern and fit for purpose environment for those that use our services and our colleagues.”