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ULHT promises engagement and progress in former Grantham Cottage Hospital project

Hospital bosses suggest Grantham's Old Cottage Hospital's fate may be decided within 12 months.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) has committed to engaging with stakeholders and addressing concerns.

"At this point, we are unable to be specific around any proposals or plans as they are in the early stages of scoping, involving multiple stakeholders," stated ULHT representatives.

The old part of Grantham Hospital.
The old part of Grantham Hospital.

However, they added: "Within the next 12 months, we hope to have enough information to allow us to engage with both you and the wider local community, sharing any ideas that we believe are of merit and benefit to the community.

"We fully appreciate the matter does need to be resolved, and the status quo is not in the wider interest of the community or the Trust. We would like to thank the community for their patience as we progress this sensitive matter."

The cottage hospital was built between 1874 and 1876, and the laying of the foundation stone was the subject of a formal civic celebration attended by the Earl and Countess Brownlow.

It was designed by London-based architect Richard Aldolphus Came, and his design included wards that were T-shaped, regarded as an unusual feature.

Henry C. Burdett, known for late 19th-century hospital architecture, praised the novel and pleasing design of the wards.

There have been numerous efforts to save the building, which in 2022 was put on SAVE Britain’s Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.

However, according to Historic England, it was assessed for listing in 2005-2006 and was determined not to list due to the building lacking the necessary character.

The organisation said in their original report that although the building was “certainly of local interest”, it was “not exemplary”, had been extended, and had seen internal features removed and associated buildings demolished.

A further application was made in 2016 and was also declined due to having no additional information.

Heritage Lincolnshire, however, has said the building is “of local if not national significance” and offered support around its future.

A spokesperson said: “Heritage Lincolnshire sees that the Old Cottage is a well-loved historic building in Grantham and we are happy to be part of discussions to find a solution with the owner and the local community.”

ULHT has previously looked to demolish the building for health and safety reasons, sparking campaigns to change their mind and instead “Save the Cottage Hospital” - keeping it as a community asset.

The latest comments follow renewed queries to all organisations involved by St Wulfram’s Ward Councillor Matt Bailey (Con), who emphasised the need for collaboration.

“This once majestic building on my doorstep is in desperate need of help and is an eyesore to anyone heading north out of Grantham on Manthorpe Road,” he said.

“Many previous [campaigners] have tried to tackle this in the past, but I am hopeful that with some fresh focus and commitment from a local resident and councillor, a positive outcome can be achieved.”

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