A derelict former hospital in Greater Manchester will be revived as a GP practice and day-care mental health and wellbeing centre in a £3.7m scheme if plans get the go-ahead.
Entrepreneurial investor Mark Schofield has submitted full plans for the former Stretford Memorial Hospital in Old Trafford following a pre-application which was approved by Trafford Council last October.
He said that, from discussions with local health officials, he has learned there is ‘overwhelming demand’ for community health services in the area, especially GP surgeries. Demand for mental health care in Trafford is also exceeding supply.
Stretford Memorial Hospital on Seymour Grove closed in 2015 and the 2.5-acre site has lain empty since then. It has been targeted by vandals, arsonists and squatters and has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds in private security fees.
Commercial real estate adviser Avison Young is selling the site, which is owned by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.
Mark enlisted Sale-based architect Howard & Seddon Partnership to draw up the full plans to transform and modernise the main buildings to serve community healthcare needs in compliance with restrictive title covenants. The full planning application has now been submitted to Trafford Council.
The site comprises Basford House, which was built in 1860 as a private residence, plus a two-storey wing.
Under Mark’s blueprint, Basford House will be revamped and converted into a GP surgery. The two-storey building will become the day-care mental health and wellbeing centre. Two existing single-storey buildings will be renovated to service the surgery. There will also be a car park and extensive landscaping works to preserve green open spaces and protect well-established trees in the grounds.
Security costs incurred by the Trust from 2015-2021 totalled more than £260,000, Mark was told in a response to his Freedom of Information request.
“The costs are being met by the taxpayer, and are substantial and escalating. The site is subject to significant vandalism and instances of arson,” he said.
“I understand there have been expressions of interest in the past from housing developers, but that these have come to nothing.
“The site’s status as a non-designated heritage asset, combined with the urgent need for community healthcare provision, means my proposal sets out a clear solution which is in keeping with its history at a time when local health services are insufficiently resourced and the NHS is under enormous pressure.
“I hope the Trust will embrace the proposal for re-use for healthcare services rather than wait for unsubstantiated and unrealistic housing proposals, especially as in the meantime security costs are having to be met by the taxpayer.”
Basford House was built as a home for Henry Beecroft Jackson, a retired cotton shipping merchant turned venture capitalist.
During the First World War, it was lent to the British Red Cross as a staging hospital for injured service personnel.
From 1925, it was a maternity hospital. Pop star Andy Gibb, brother of the Bee Gees, was born there in 1958.
It later became a geriatric hospital which closed in 2015 when services were transferred to Trafford General.