Today Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport met with members of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) to observe the marked progress on construction of its National Centre, and view artwork contributed by local primary school pupils.

The SNBTS National Centre, which is due for completion mid-2017, will be a cutting-edge, purpose-built blood transfusion facility which will consolidate and modernise several of the organisation's core activities and services such as the processing, testing and manufacturing of blood components, as well as relocating its headquarters.

During the visit Ms. Robison met children from Currie Primary School who were announced as competition winners of an art project run by SNBTS and development consortium Interserve Kajima.

At the site of the new National Centre at Heriot-Watt Research Park, the construction of the facility is well underway however it was decided that a bit of colour was needed to brighten up the wooden hoarding surrounding the site.

Local primary schools were invited to submit bright and eye-catching artwork for display around the site, with a theme of donating blood, patients receiving a transfusion, the building itself or equipment used by SNBTS.

Entries were judged by staff from SNBTS, Interserve and Kajima, with three pieces from pupils of Currie Primary School being declared the winning designs.

The six children who worked on the designs were presented with their prizes by Ms. Robison along with staff from SNTBS and Interserve Kajima.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "I'm pleased to be here today to see how work is progressing on the new National Centre for blood services in Scotland. The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service plays an integral role in the delivery of healthcare services across Scotland - providing blood products the length and breadth of the country.

"This facility will be a fantastic boost for the service in Scotland when it's complete. It's great to see that the health board and the construction company are working with the local community on the project and involving local school children in its development. The pictures they have come up with are a wonderful addition to the construction site and all the children involved should be commended for their eye-catching designs."

Mary Morgan, Director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service said: "The National Centre is one of the biggest projects within National Services Scotland and has been years in the planning. It's very exciting to witness the progress of the build and to see that this will be an impressive facility, allowing us to meet the growing transfusion needs for patients across the country.

"Having support from the local area is vital and I'd like to thank the children for their involvement in this art competition and creating such wonderful designs for display on site."

Representatives from the development consortium Interserve Kajima presented the children with a cheque for £250 for their school.

John Dundas of Kajima Partnerships Ltd and Interserve Investments Ltd said: "Throughout this project we have been working very closely with SNBTS and Interserve Construction to integrate well with the local community. This art competition is intended to raise awareness of the project with the schools and make the site more interesting during the build!

"We had a fantastic response from the children, and the winning designs are superb.  The pupils obviously put a great deal of thought and effort into their art work. Not only will their work brighten up the hoarding, but we will be using their designs in our canteen, offices and meeting rooms too, so this is a lasting legacy for the children of Currie Primary School."

Article reproduced with the kind permission of SNBTS. Click here for original.