The HSE Board has awarded contracts for the the first six co-location hospital projects to a number of consortiums.

As expected, the contracts were given to four consortiums to build six co-located hospitals in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.

The locations are Beaumont Hospital and St James's in Dublin, Cork University Hospital, Limerick Regional, Sligo General and Waterford Regional.

A total of 914 beds have been proposed for under the contracts.

Details have yet to be finalised for two other co-location sites in Dublin, at Tallaght Hospital and Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown.

The HSE said the land on which the co-located private hospitals will be built will be leased from the State and no land will be sold to successful bidders.