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People asked to show support for Minehead cultural hub
PEOPLE are being urged to show their support for a proposed scheme to turn a disused hospital in Minehead into a cultural hub as it is put up for sale.
Owner NHS Property Services is putting the Grade II listed building in The Avenue on the market eight months after it was listed as a community asset by West Somerset Council.
The listing was designed to give interested community groups time to prepare a bid to buy it.
Minehead Development Trust has been working on just that and has been consulting on its plans to turn the 19th Century building into a cultural hub, including a library, cafe and museum.
Constructive meetings between the owners and the trust have resulting in these plans being involved in the marketing process.
The trust is continuing ongoing discussions about the potential use for the building with local authorities and other service providers and now has to finalise a strong business plan to ensure its long-term viability as a community hub.
Chair Jenny Lennon-Wood said: “We greatly appreciate the community’s encouraging response to Minehead Development Trust’s funding pledges campaign.
“Now is the time to step up the momentum and seize this unique opportunity to regenerate Minehead’s town centre.
“You can pledge online at mineheaddevelopmenttrust.co.uk or pick up a form from Minehead Information Centre at 19 The Avenue.
“We would also encourage people to get in touch with local authorities directly to tell them what they would like to see in the building.”
The building closed its doors as hospital in 2011, when the community hospital in Seaward Way opened in its place.
An NHS Property Services spokesman said: “This site was declared surplus to NHS requirements and responsibility for its sale was passed to NHS Property Services as new owners from 1 April 2013.
“We recognise the importance of this historic site to the town and we are pleased to have progressed it to the point of marketing, so that it can once again serve a useful purpose and the proceeds reinvested in the NHS.”
John Read, of the appointed agents Jones Land LaSalle, added: “Detailed discussions with West Somerset Council conclude that there are a number of options for the building which include residential, retail, health or leisure.
“We envisage that the building could go into a mixed use with an active ground floor restaurant, retail or community facility making use of the hall with residential above and to the rear.”
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