SOUTHAMPTON is set to become one of the leading sport and exercise medicine hubs in the country as building starts on a multi-million pound world class centre.

Work has begun on Spire Southampton Hospital’s £2m state-of-the-art sports medicine facility, which promises to provide elite services and leading technologies to patients from high-level athletes to weekend warriors across the south.

From world class diagnostic services and treatment, to access to specialist surgeons just a few minutes away at Spire’s hospital, Perform Southampton, in Millbrook, will boast an experienced team of physicians and physiotherapists.

The new centre, in Auckland Road, is set to create two new jobs and is hoping to join forces with Southampton Solent University to provide employment for new graduates.

The latest facility, which comes six months after the opening of a similar centre at the home of Hampshire cricket, will become the new home of all of the Spire hospital’s existing outpatient physiotherapy services, giving around 10,000 patients a year a new and improved hub to head to for their treatment.

Jane Whitney-Smith, Spire Southampton Hospital director, said: “It is an exciting time for all of us as Perform Southampton will not only provide the highest quality technology, diagnostic capability and treatments for those recovering from injury or simply looking to improve their fitness but will also create a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility for all of our outpatient physiotherapy services which allows us to provide an even better level of care to all of our patients.”

In addition to the consultancy and physiotherapy services available at the centre, patients will also have access to a hydrotherapy pool, body movement therapy based on a fusion of Pilates and yoga and a gym fitted out with an Alter-G treadmill, a technology developed by NASA.

It will also form a research centre and hub for training the next generation of sport and exercise medicine physicians.

Dr Mark Wotherspoon, sports medicine doctor to Hampshire Cricket and Southampton Football Club, added: “Exercise is fast being recognised as medicine and can now be prescribed, just like drugs, for a huge variety of medical conditions, including, arthritis, obesity and heart disease.

“It will provide a slick and seamless service for patients in a new state-of-the-art venue.”

The new centre is expected to welcome its first patients in May.