HEALTH chiefs hope to find out soon if they are going to get a multi-million Government handout for a new surgical centre at Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital.

They have already submitted a bid for cash for the £79.5 million development featuring emergency and elective operating theatres with some day case surgery; an endoscopy unit; intensive treatment and high dependency units; and clinical office accommodation.

A planning application for the project on the site of a number of 1940s buildings no longer fit for purpose has been lodged with Taunton Deane Borough Council.

It is the second phase of a scheme that saw a 112-bed development and concourse area opened in the £34 million Jubilee Building in 2014.

The bid document is looking to attract a chunk of £3.6 billion pledged for capital projects by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Budget.

A Musgrove spokesman said: "The application for funding has gone in and we're still waiting to formally hear the outcome of that."

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow presented a 6,000-signature petition calling for funding for the centre to the House of Commons last Wednesday.