Plans have been unveiled for a £2.8m scheme to breathe new life into a derelict former hospital in Greater Manchester.
The old Stretford Memorial Hospital in Trafford closed in 2015 and the site has lain empty since then. It has been targeted by vandals and squatters, and has become rundown.
Commercial real estate adviser Avison Young is selling the site, which is owned by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, and entrepreneurial chartered engineer investor Mark Schofield has submitted a blueprint to bring it back into use.
Mark has enlisted Sale-based architect Howard & Seddon Partnership to draw up plans to transform and modernise the main buildings – Basford House and a two-storey wing – so they can once again serve community healthcare needs in keeping with established freehold title covenants.
His proposal also includes extensive landscaping work in the grounds to preserve green open spaces and protect well-established trees.
Mark said: “It’s structurally concerning to see the site in its current state. Over recent years it has suffered significant aesthetic deterioration and has been heavily squatted and vandalised throughout.
“Bringing it back into use will be technically and environmentally challenging, but extremely rewarding.
“There is great demand for healthcare provision in the area and it would be thrilling to see the site brought back into use for this purpose.”
Basford House was built in the mid-19th century as a private residence for Henry Beecroft Jackson, a retired cotton shipping merchant turned venture capitalist who financed numerous schemes, including several railways and a gold mining expedition to British Columbia, and was a benefactor of Owens College, the precursor of the University of Manchester.
The former coach house on the site is believed to have been the birthplace of aviator Sir John Alcock, who with Arthur Witten Brown made the first Atlantic air crossing in 1919.
During the First World War, Basford House was lent to the British Red Cross for use as a hospital for injured servicemen.
From 1925, it was a maternity hospital, and pop star Andy Gibb – brother of the Bee Gees – was born there in 1958. It later became a geriatric hospital, which closed in 2015 when services were transferred to Trafford General.
Basford House retains many of its Classical Revival style external features, with an elaborate two-storey porch entrance, decorative window surrounds, a bow on its south side and painted quoins.
Trafford Council considers it to be a non-designated heritage asset in planning terms and says it should be retained if possible, although it accepts there is some scope for adaptation.
Mark said: “I have submitted my tender to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and, given established restrictive title covenants, I remain optimistic it will be accepted as the preferred option for this historic site.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to revive a landmark which has an illustrious and fascinating past.”