Work starts on Cwmbran's Llanfrechfa £350m hospital
Construction work has begun on a new £350m hospital in Torfaen, 13 years after it was first proposed.
The 471-bed facility, to be built at Llanfrechfa Grange, Cwmbran, is part of a plan to modernise health services run by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board.
Ministers announced that the hospital will be named the Grange University Hospital.
First proposed in 2004, the Welsh Government gave the go-ahead for the project last October.
The health board expects the facility, originally known as the Specialist Critical Care Centre and which will be home to more than 40 specialist services, to open in spring 2021, earlier than a previously announced date of 2022.
It will see specialist services moved from Newport's Royal Gwent and Abergavenny's Nevill Hall hospitals.
The original plans had been put on hold in 2009 before being put back on the agenda a year later.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething, who marked the start of construction work on Monday, said the "state-of-the-art" hospital would "bring together complex and more acute services onto one site".
"This will improve the quality of care for the very sickest patients," he said.
Judith Paget, the health board's chief executive, added: "It will help us to create a much improved care environment, timely access to emergency care and ensure patients get the best outcomes from their care."
Six hundred people will be employed in the construction of the hospital and once completed, it will contain 10,500 voice and data points, 13,500 light fittings, and 118 miles (190km) of cables.