A glimmer of hope for restoring the St Joseph’s Orphanage and former hospital in Preston city centre has been given.Advertisement
Manchester-based architects Buttress have been appointed to draw up proposals for redeveloping the building which has stood empty for more than a decade.
Preston City Council confirmed it is moving to come up with proposals for the site, working alongside its current owner David Gornall.
Although the city council does not own the building Town Hall sources say they are growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of action as it falls into disrepair.
What was Mount Street Hospital is in a prime development spot in the city centre between Winckley Square and the Fishergate Shopping Centre.
Related: See inside abandoned St Joseph’s Orphanage
It has been closed since 2003 when it was last used as a nursing home, the hospital itself stopped operating in 1986.
Deputy leader of the city council councillor John Swindells said: “We’ve just appointed architects Buttress to work up a possible development scheme for St Joseph’s Orphanage. It features in the Preston Housing Zone plan.”
Related: Orphanage among six key Preston sites which could be developed for new homes
Mr Gornall is understood to want around £2m for the building, and it did have planning permission granted in 2004 to become 82 flats but no development ever went ahead.
News of the plans for the Orphanage come as property developers and estate agents report growing interest in the Winckley Square area.
More than £1m is being spent on revamping the Georgian Square as part of a Heritage Lottery Bid.
Funding for the council to commission the plans for St Joseph’s come from the Townscape Heritage funding it received, which is seeing small amounts given to developers and architects to try and stimulate interest in new developments and restorations in the Winckley Square area.
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