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Residents speak up for Grantham's Old Cottage Hospital

Residents have been having their say on the future of Grantham’s Old Cottage Hospital.

LincsOnline reported that hospital bosses have suggested the building’s fate may be decided in the next 12 months.

It comes as councillors and others make renewed attempts to find a future for the building which doesn’t result in it being knocked down.

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

Over 140 people responded with suggestions.

Suggestions included rebuilding it into a nursing home or hospice, maintaining its use for health services like out-of-hours doctors and pharmacists, or even creating a health or hospital museum.

Clare Annan said: “It should have been protected by listing status years ago. It's part of our history. A community hub, museum or even part of the hospital once again but don't pull out history down please.”

Historic England assessed it for listing in 2005-2006 and determined not to list it 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 has said the building is 'of local if not national significance' and offered support for its future.

Maria Orpen said it “needs to be saved”, adding: “it’s an iconic building,and a great contribution to Grantham's past.

“Think of all the beautiful buildings in Grantham that have been demolished, much now regretted by most of the population.”

Robb Lambley suggested the building could be used for doctors surgeries.

“[There’s] plentiful parking , it’s next to the hospital for X-rays/blood tests.

“It could easily accommodate St Peter’s Hill/Vine Street surgeries and it’s walkable from the town.”

Steve Reedman implored the both district and the new town council to find the money, suggesting other schemes and property sales could be diverted there.

“Fully restore the building into a community hub or something similar make use of it rather than just let the building be lost,” he said.

Nigel Rivers also suggested getting councillors involved and turning the building into a “Grantham project to restore it and make it safe for a joint hospital and community use.

“Lots of businesses in town that could help and offer support, retired builders, carpenters, electricians that can teach out of work people some simple DIY. Get donations and discounts on materials from local builders, merchants etc.

“People power…do not underestimate it ,” he added.

Will McIntosh added: “It’s riddled with asbestos but it can be saved at a cost, they pulled down the Shirley Croft to make way for houses and there was no need.

“The front of the hospital is iconic and stunning and it can get used for something but not houses.“

Residents were not the only ones having their say as local councillors, including members of the newly-elected Grantham Town Council also had their say.

Councillor and long-time health campaigner Charmaine Morgan said: “This is just the sort of issue our new town council should be consulted on.

“I'm confident all newly-elected members would want to save the building and have it put to good community use.

“It is pretty dreadful that ULHT allowed it to get in such a state.”

Councillor Kev Doughty said the maternity block should serve as the main area for the county's south instead of sending patients to Lincoln.

Not everyone was convinced the building could be saved, however.

Karen Wilson wrote: “Doesn’t matter what any of us say nobody listens!!! Their minds are already made up and it’ll just be a swift pen & paper exercise with no consideration for the Grantham community whatsoever.”

“It should be restored without doubt. Unfortunately it stands on valuable land,” said Jane Hutchinson.

“Officials have been walking around it with their fluorescent jackets and clip boards for years, just waiting until they can tick the box that the building is beyond repair,” feared Jenna Knight.

“They will be demolishing it as soon as they can prove this. Should have been an order to repair before it was allowed to get to that state.”

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