A bid to build a new James Paget University Hospital has been given a significant funding boost by the government.

The hospital in Gorleston is one of 40 nationally selected schemes by the government for new hospital builds.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: A bird's eye view of the James Paget University HospitalA bird's eye view of the James Paget University Hospital (Image: JPUH)

Plans have been progressing with three options drawn up for a new look site.

The plans have now been boosted by news that the minister of state for health Maria Caulfield has approved releasing funds to move the project along.

A letter to the region's MPs says funding has been approved for the hospital to carry out surveys for an outline planning application.

The letter says: "This step in progressing these vital works for the scheme demonstrates our commitment to delivering a new hospital for Great Yarmouth, ensuring staff and patients have access to world class facilities as part of this transformational programme."

The plan is for the new hospital to be built by 2030 - by which time the original site would be nearly 50 years old.

The funding for the surveys was welcomed by Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis has welcomed the fundingGreat Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis has welcomed the funding (Image: Archant (C) 2014)

He said: "The James Paget is an excellent local hospital, but does need capital investment.

"This announcement is one more step forward on the path to a brand new hospital to serve the people of Great Yarmouth and further afield.”

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Option 1 for the new James Paget University HospitalOption 1 for the new James Paget University Hospital (Image: JPUH)

Designs for the new hospital were revealed in March.

The three options presented included a large, single building, a more spread out “campus”-style design, and a blend of the two, with a covered ‘street’ running between the two largest buildings.

One of the biggest expected improvements, intended to be included in whichever design is chosen, will be every patient having a room to themselves and an en suite toilet.

The hospital celebrated the 40th anniversary of its official opening in July.

The overall national hospital building scheme will cost £3.7bn.

A statement from the hospital said: “The James Paget continues to work closely with the national New Hospital Programme team to develop and design options for a new hospital on our site.

"This includes identification and bidding for projects that would help us prepare for this exciting development.

"People can find out more and give their feedback by visiting www.jpaget.nhs.uk/about-us/strategies-policies/our-new-hospital/.“