A BARNSLEY-BASED building firm has been appointed as the lead contractor for Barnsley Hospital's new £1.2million birthing suite.

C D Potter and Sons Ltd was made principal contractor for the development, after the hospital was awarded funding from the Department of Health earlier this year to radically transform its suite.

The hospital was one of three in South Yorkshire to receive a share of a £25million fund to improve and upgrade maternity services around the country.

The new state-of-the-art development will include three plumbed-in birthing pools, seven delivery suites, all with en-suite facilities, a dedicated bereavement suite and a room for partners to stay overnight.

Chris Barrow, director at the building firm, said: "We're delighted to have been appointed principal contractor on this scheme and look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with Barnsley Hospital."

Work is expected to start next month and be completed in January.