TWF, the philanthropic foundation set up by Sir Ian Wood and his immediate family, offered funds for the project in 2015, paving the way for construction to take place without diverting public funds from vital front-line health care services. The project was later approved by the NHS in 2016, and one year after construction began, the car park is now ready for use. Championed by Lady Helen Wood, the new car park will provide an additional 1,000 parking spaces exclusively for patients and visitors.
Sir Ian Wood said:
“We are delighted to see this project come to fruition. For many across the North East, the car is the only solution to get them to hospital and we are very aware of the anxiety and frustration caused by a lack of adequate car-parking.
“My wife Helen has been the driving force behind this project, recognising the distress felt by patients and visitors when trying to park their cars when attending for treatment or visiting loved ones during what is an already stressful situation.
“The new car park is very impressive, as close to iconic as a car park can be. We are pleased to have been able to provide the funding for this project which will greatly enhance access to facilities for those visiting the hospital without removing money from front-line health care at a time when every pound of public funding is badly needed.”
Today’s opening ceremony will be performed by Lady Helen Wood, Trustee of The Wood Foundation. Commenting on the official opening ceremony, Lady Helen Wood said:
“I am delighted to be opening this new car park, especially in the company of and with help and participation from some of the patients and visitors who, like me, have so often felt real frustration and anxiety in trying to find suitable car parking for their visit. I am particularly pleased at the thought that this car park will relieve some of that stress and frustration from the many tens of thousands of patients and visitors who will be using ARI in the future.”