A LAST ditch bid has been made to ensure two of Malvern’s most treasured buildings continue to serve the community.
The Malvern Civic Society has applied for The Grange and the former Malvern Community Hospital to be registered as Assets of Community Value despite both sites already being on the market for sale.
If successful, the listing would give community groups the first opportunity to take over the properties by allowing them six months to put a bid together before they could be sold. However the status does not guarantee the buildings will be given to the community groups.
The Grange which is next to Malvern Theatres on Grange Road, was built in 1830 for the Mason family who owned much of the land in Great Malvern, before it was purchased by Malvern Urban District Council (now Malvern Hills District Council) in 1927.
The Grade II listed building, which was last occupied by the Citizens Advice Bureau, was put up for sale at the end of last month for offers in excess of £350,000.
Clive Hooper, chairman of Malvern Civic Society, said The Grange would readily lend itself to community use and could possibly be opened as a ‘much-needed’ visitor centre for the town which could also accommodate local groups to hold their meetings.
He added the Asset of Community Value listing was now even more important following the building being put up for sale and added the civic society would also enter into discussions with the council regarding a possible asset transfer to the community.
Sandra Hudson, estates and facilities manager at the district council, confirmed they had received the nomination and said once a completed application was submitted it would be considered.
She added there were a number of interested parties in The Grange and the council would be looking for a final offer by the end of April.
The old community hospital in Lansdowne Crescent opened in 1911 after Malvern philanthropist Charles Dyson Perrins released land for the facility and also funded its equipment.
The site was closed in 2010 when the new community hospital in Malvern Link was built.
It is owned by NHS Property Services and is currently ‘under offer’ with Halls 1845 handling negotiations. A spokesperson from the estate agents was unavailable for comment before going to press.
Mr Hooper said the old hospital was of sufficient architectural and heritage value to be listed as a community asset adding it would serve the same purpose as those suggested for The Grange.
“These two properties have been highlighted as being in need of urgent protection for continuing community use, and we consider that they both fulfil the criteria for listing.”
Both applications will be handled by Malvern Hills District Council in the coming weeks.