AFTER years of strain, work on a new surgery is underway, and doctors, developers and children attended a soggy turf cutting ceremony at the site.

An access road to the site, off Croft Way, is being paved and Matrix construction staff will start building the two-storey surgery in January.

The move has been in the pipeline for years – in 2005, the County Gazette reported how the existing surgery was “bursting at the seams” and could not cope with the high demand of patients after the introduction of the GP contract.

The Lister House Surgery then missed out on a share of £1billion promised by the Government to expand and improve surgery premises nationwide.

Now officials are looking forward to a state-of-the-art health centre.

Practice manager Peter Moran said: “We haven’t got enough space and can’t take on new patients.

“The new building will give us 2½ times more room – we can then consider offering new services.

“At the moment people are hot-desking. Sometimes my office is used by nurses to see patients.

“When this building was opened in the 1990s it was fine and did what it needed to, but now we’ve outgrown our premises significantly.

“It’s going to be a good-looking building the town can be proud of.”

Work is due to be completed next September.