What Is It?
Successful communities identify specific niches that their economies can fill, and promote industry clusters that draw on local competitive advantages to serve local and international markets. Advanced health care is one of New Westminster’s major niches and the major redevelopment and expansion underway at the Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH) will further expand the hospital’s already significant size and capacity. Situated at the centre of Metro Vancouver, and serviced by two of New Westminster’s five SkyTrain stations, the Economic Health Care Cluster (EHCC) will transform the precinct surrounding RCH into an integrated collection of health and technology businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs. By responding to the anticipated growth in health care and technology, New Westminster can play a critical role in the delivery of improved health care for citizens and the creation of a network that supports strong economic growth and opportunity.
- The Province has announced funding for phases 1, 2 and 3 of the RCH redevelopment and planning is underway for future phases of the hospital’s redevelopment. Phase 1 construction of a new Mental Health Facility and Energy Centre has begun, with planned completion in 2019 and the design and servicing requirements for Phases 2 and 3 are being finalized.
- The work of the Mayor’s Task Force on the EHCC has been completed and the IDEA Centre Strategy and Road Map developed by the task force has been endorsed by Council.
- Implementation has begun on Immediate Actions identified in the Strategy and Road Map, including feasibility studies for an Innovation Hub, supportive streetscape design guidelines and the engagement of a “champion” to lead the Centre.
- The new OCP has been adopted, which includes the designation of a Special Employment Area near RCH.
- Discussions are underway with partners to support research and innovation at RCH.