Could St Joseph’s Orphanage see a new owner soon?

Posted on - 19th May, 2017 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - History, Housing, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
St Joseph's Orphanage stands empty in Mount Street Pic: Gill Lawson
St Joseph’s Orphanage stands empty in Mount Street Pic: Gill Lawson

A Preston building voted as one of the UK’s most endangered could have a new owner as part of its redevelopment.


The Victorian Society claims recent discussions have taken place about potential new owners for St Joseph’s Orphanage in Mount Street.

In June last year Preston City Council moved to draw up proposals for the building which is currently owned by David Gornall.

It has stood empty in Preston city centre for more than a year and last year was featured in a list of the Victorian Society’s top 10 most at risk historic buildings in the UK.

Also known as Mount Street Hospital it opened in 1872 and closed in 2003.

The Victorian Society is urging residents in Lancashire to nominate their most endangered buildings for the 2017 at risk list.

A spokeswoman for the society said: “According to our sources there have been recent discussions with potential new owners for St Joseph’s which must at this stage remain confidential.

“The Victorian Society is hopeful that progress will be made towards sensitive and appropriate new uses for both these fine 19th century buildings.”

Read more: Watch inside abandoned St Joseph’s Orphanage

The walls inside the former orphanage
The walls inside the former orphanage

Blog Preston approached the city council for comment on speculation the buildings could be transferred to a new owner but they said they were not in a position to comment.

There is also no update at this stage on where architects Buttress have got to in drawing up proposals to redevelop the building which is rapidly decaying.

The city council has identified bringing the St Joseph’s site back into use as a key part of the Housing Zone scheme for the city centre.

Read more: History of Whittingham mental hospital to be explored

Director of planning at the city council Chris Hayward said: “The property is identified as a priority for a potential housing scheme through the Preston’s City Living Strategy. This is an important listed building and we are working with the owner, Historic England, the Homes and Communities Agency and Lancashire County Council, to bring forward the site for development.

“The City Living Strategy is a key part of the Preston Housing Zone and City Deal, focusing on the city centre, with the aim of providing much needed housing and prioritising development on previously developed land and re-using existing buildings.”

Anyone can nominate a Victorian building for the endangered buildings list by emailing the Victorian Society by Friday 7 July.

Do you think the current owner should be forced to give up the building? What would you like to see happen with the former orphanage? Let us know in the comments below

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