Campaigners fear the worst for Grimsby hospital's historic buildings
HERITAGE lovers fear for the future of the old workhouse buildings at Grimsby Hospital which could be sold off to developers to make way for housing.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is holding a public consultation on the plans, which include selling off the old workhouse buildings at Grimsby's Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital, near to Scartho's clock tower.
They are among the oldest buildings left in Grimsby, and heritage groups have expressed fears that although the trust's "preferred" option is to retain the buildings, selling them off will leave them vulnerable to demolition.
Of the five buildings from the old north side of the hospital, it is only the clock tower on North East Lincolnshire Council's List of Buildings of Local Architectural or Historic Interest.
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Heritage campaigner and member of Friends of Cleethorpes Heritage, Ann Reavey, wants them to continue to be used for hospital services.
"They are beautiful, old buildings and we must do everything to retain them," she said. "I understand the trust needs to save and make money, but why not keep them as part of the hospital?
"They need to be put on the local list so they have some protection. To see them go would be a crying shame."
As well as the old work houses, the trust also want to sell off 4.2 hectares of land at Scartho Top – where the Helipad is located – to make way for about 400 houses. The helipad will be relocated or lost altogether depending on the outcome of the two-day consultation, which starts on Wednesday.
The old buildings include Northside, Eastholme, Restcoates, Southolme and West Arch, which are close to the iconic clock tower and gateway.
They are used as offices for management, finances and Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services, but once operated as workhouses for the poor.
Alan Nicholson of Grimsby, Cleethorpes and District Heritage and Civic Society, said: "It would be very sad to see them go. They are part of our heritage, they are iconic buildings within the town of which there are very few left."
But conservationist Ernie Brown believes more housing is needed and that should take priority over saving the old buildings.
He said: "The present is more important. It would be a shame to lose the buildings, but the bigger picture is we need more affordable housing. We must think about the future of our people. These old buildings are of little use to anyone – we cannot keep them as monuments when there is so much need in the town."