A BRADFORD hospital unit where thousands of babies born since it was built more than half a century ago is about to undergo an energy-saving £1.8 million makeover that will take nine months to deliver.

Work on the Women’s and Newborn Unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI), part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is due to start in spring next year.

Hospital bosses hope the project, which only recently got planning permission, will help reduce heating costs.

Shane Embleton, Programme Manager at the Trust said the 51-year-old building was in need of the revamp, which would also give it an attractive new look.

North West-based Property Tectonics, a property and construction company that works with major clients in the NHS, will be carrying out the work.

The refit will include new cladding to all faces of the five storey building, new better insulated windows and refurbishment of the roof.

Mr Embleton said the work would be addressing issues with heat loss, draughts, noise and leaks, allowing the hospital to conserve energy and cut costs.

Hospital officials have said usual maternity services will remain largely unaffected during the work and access to all the unit’s departments will be kept open.

When rooms need to be shut it will be done in phases to keep people safe. Windows in the unit will also be coated with a reflective film to protect privacy.

Tim Dale, who is architect and director at Property Tectonics, said it was an exciting project.

“The Womens & Newborn Unit at the hospital is a very prominent building, and this is set to be a very exciting project that will not only provide it with a brand new image but also bring some considerable improvements in terms of energy efficiency.

“Obviously a building that welcomes mothers, babies and their families needs to be a comfortable and welcoming as possible and we’re delighted to be playing a part in the future of the unit,” he said.

Mr Embleton added: “The exciting cladding proposals, using a mixture of bold colours, were chosen by the staff at the Trust and this work will give one of our major landmarks a welcome facelift.”

Earlier this summer, BRI bosses announced big High Street names Costa Coffee and M&S Simply Food were coming to the hospital as part of its £28m new wing development.

Work is on track on the wing which will house new wards for children and the elderly as well as a state-of-the-art intensive care unit and should be open by the end of this year.

As part of that transformation work, BRI’s main entrance in Duckworth Lane will also be getting a major overhaul to include a new shopping experience for patients, visitors and staff.