Leaders of a campaign to save Southwold Hospital for community use express delight at progress made
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Leaders of a campaign to ensure a former hospital remains open for public use have expressed their delight with recent progress and have outlined plans for the site to be part of the regeneration of a coastal town.
The Save Our Southwold Hospital (SOS) campaign is fighting to ensure the former cottage hospital building in Southwold remains available for public use.
And following a series of events raising funds for a feasibility study of the site -including a structural survey and a business plan- SOS has now commissioned a feasibility study to develop a digital business centre on the hospital site.
It is hoped this centre would generate jobs in the community as well as attracting young professionals and their families to Southwold.
Laurence Vulliamy, chairman of SOS, said: 'The hospital is an iconic building in Southwold. It was a huge community project in 1903 and now, more than a hundred years later, the hospital could be at the centre of the town's regeneration.'
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Also, after receiving a grant and high level advice from The Plunkett Foundation- which assists community groups in purchasing and running local businesses, SOS is forming a Community Benefit Society, a limited company for the benefit of communities, which will enable SOS to sell shares to the public in order to raise money to develop the hospital site.
'The Community Benefit Society will be a legally binding company that will buy the hospital, run the hospital and plough profits back into community projects.
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'We'd like to think that one day SOS will not just be dedicated to the hospital, it will be open to other projects in the community.
'We are delighted with our progress so far and hope this will continue. People can buy shares, if they wish, when they become available.' added Mr Vulliamy.
Mr Vulliamy also explained plans had been drawn by their architect for the redevelopment of the site, which would see the restoration of the original 1903 façade of the former cottage hospital.
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