COUNCILLORS have hit out at the delay to the opening of the new Colne Health Centre.

Work on the £4.2million centre in Craddock Road is now complete but the opening has been delayed by legal hold-ups.

But bosses at NHS England said they hoped services would start to move into the centre in the next few weeks.

Coun Tony Greaves said: “It is bureaucracy that is holding it up. It’s ridiculous that we haven’t got a date for the opening of the health centre.”

Coun Joe Cooney, council leader, said: “I believe it all to do with discussions between GPs and solicitors and is getting stuck in red tape.

“Somebody needs to grab hold of it and get it moving forward.”

The NHS acquired the former Kwik Save supermarket site in 2008, but the project was hit with delays, with the plans shelved in 2010 due to funding concerns.

But the project was kick-started in 2012 and will now include four GP surgeries, speech and language therapists and a podiatry service.

A spokesman for NHS England, Lancashire, said: “All of the partners involved in the new centre are working hard to ensure that it is ready to open to patients as soon as possible.

“The project has been slightly delayed while all legal contracts required for the move have been finalised but we now anticipate that services will start to move into the building in the next few weeks.

“Our service to patients remains our primary concern and we are working to make sure that the transition of services to the new centre will be achieved with minimum disruption.

"We would also like to reassure patients that they can continue to access the full range of services through the existing health centre site at Market Street until the move is completed.”

About 150 staff are set to move into the building, which will also include a pharmacy and outpatient facilities.