Action demanded on derelict City centre former orphanage

(September 15, 2016)

Mark has today called on Preston City Council to take action to save the former orphanage and hospital following its listing by the Victorian Society as one of the most endangered buildings in the country.

The Grade II Victorian Gothic building on Mount Street was identified by the Victorian Society in their recent list of top ten historic buildings ‘at risk’.  Opened in 1872, the building has served as an orphanage, a hospital and a care home until its closure in 1986.  More recently, in 2004 planning permission was granted to convert the building into 82 flats with parking, however the conversion never took place and the building subsequently fell into disrepair and the planning permission to undertake this conversion has now lapsed. 

Mr Hendrick said: ‘I am dismayed to read this morning that Mount Street Hospital has been identified as being in the top 10 endangered buildings in the UK, as collated by the Victorian Society.

‘I am trying to determine what plans are in place to rescue the property and what discussions have taken place with the current owners to ensure that this marvellous Victorian gothic building is not lost to future generations’.

The Victorian Society is a charity that campaigns for Victorian and Edwardian architecture in England and Wales. Its aims are to conserve buildings of special architectural merit by raising awareness of the buildings with the public and providing advice to local authorities and building owners.

Mark said: ‘Some parts of the City centre are seeing exciting changes with buildings like the Guild Hall Arcade and the former Post Office being re-developed.  Although St Joseph’s Hospital has been disused for a number of years, now is a good time to build on that momentum to try and get this building not only off the ‘at risk list’ but realise its potential to develop it into a working building that Preston can be proud of and generations to come can enjoy its Victorian splendour.

I’ve raised my concerns with both the City Council and also the Victorian Society and I am expecting a full report from Preston City Council detailing the work done to date and the immediate plans to bring this dilapidated building back into use.’  

James Hughes, Victorian Society Senior Conservation Adviser, said: We’re very grateful for Mr Hendrick’s intervention over the plight of Mount Street Hospital. Ensuring it survives should be one of the Council’s top heritage priorities. We warned the council about the condition of this building back in 2009 – it has got much worse since. We welcome the fact that plans for a residential conversion are being drawn up, but they must be put into action urgently if the building is to be saved.’

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