The Lady Helen Parking Centre at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) officially opened in February 2018 increasing the parking capacity at Foresterhill by almost 50%.
One year on, the 1100-space free-to-use car park has massively relieved the parking pressure felt by the thousands of people driving to the site daily.
Lady Wood, a Trustee of The Wood Foundation, was keen that the Foundation improve the experience of visiting the hospital without public funds being diverted from frontline services.
The Wood Foundation worked alongside NHS Grampian and committed £10.7m to design and build a fit-for-purpose parking facility at the North-east’s biggest and busiest medical hub.
NHS Grampian Chair Dr Lynda Lynch said:
“The Wood Foundation’s generous donation enabled NHS Grampian to deliver this much-needed facility. Since it opened it has eased the journey of patients and visitors alike, removing one worry from what can be an anxious time. We remain very grateful to The Wood Foundation – and Lady Helen Wood in particular – for their support in providing this free-to-use car park.”
Lady Wood said:
“Attending hospital, whether as a patient or as a visitor, is very often a stressful situation. The lack of parking at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary was significantly increasing the strain felt by tens of thousands of North-east families.”
The Wood Foundation has received many notes of thanks from the general public and Lady Wood is heartened by its impact and grateful to those who have taken the time to write, email or send a card.
A visitor to ARI, Alistair Law said:
“This is truly an act of generosity that will help so many people, just at a time when they need it most. To be able to visit loved ones without the anxiety of finding a place to park sounds a little thing but take it from me, it’s not!”
Gillian Burnett has recently been visiting a relative in hospital. She commented:
“I just wanted to thank you for having the inspiration and will to build the multi storey car park. Words can’t do justice to what it means to have one less thing to worry about when making hospital visits. A car park may not be the most auspicious of buildings but in terms of fulfilling a daily, hourly need, it is second to none.”
The car park, which sits directly across from the main entrance to Foresterhill, has 13 floors of free parking.
Lady Wood added:
“We are very pleased that the new multi-storey car park has made an immeasurable difference, improving the overall experience for those visiting the hospital, without public funds being diverted from frontline services.”
The Wood Foundation was established in 2007 by Sir Ian Wood and his immediate families. As well as economic development in the North-east, it also focusses on developing young people in Scotland and transforming livelihoods through the tea industry in East Africa.