The Trust’s first objective was to purchase the old Fleetwood Hospital, closed as a bedded hospital by the NHS in 2009, and develop it to provide much-needed support and community-based services for the people of Fleetwood.
Why Fleetwood Hospital
The hospital is situated is Pharos Ward, an area of neglected and derelict buildings that lead to deprivation as aspirations stagnate. The empty main wards of the hospital had not been maintained for many years and there were leaks in the roof creating damage through all 3 floors with grass growing in the top floor wards. Repairing and re-purposing the hospital was an opportunity to bring life back to this end of the town. The Trust's objective is to provide community-based services and support and an intermediate care ward, the hospital is ideal for the purpose.
All ideas for the community hub originate from discussion with local people and The Trust's strategy to ensure that the whole community is involved throughout the development of the building, putting people at the heart of this project. The Trust is also looking for active partners to manage the provision of services. The priorities are for spaces which support activities for health and wellbeing, community support functions, business enterprise, creative skills, food support through a community café and teaching kitchen.
Most importantly the space will provide access for all to promote social inclusion and enabling self-worth amongst the whole spectrum of community users. The Trust want this building to be an exemplar and a place for the people of Fleetwood to be proud of!
The Story So Far
The Trust was successful in raising £812,500 from local anonymous donors and the freehold of the whole building and the site was purchased in November 2018 for £575,000 from the NHS. The Outpatients Department that still existed was retained by the NHS and became The Trust’s tenant on a 10-year lease at £76,000 per year.
The building is large and extends to 3 floors. It has 60,000 square feet of floor space of which 15,000 square feet is the Outpatient’s Department. The unoccupied area was in very poor repair and the roof had been leaking for years. The Trust has done a substantial repair on the roof and erected bird netting to prevent seagulls using it as a nesting site as they had always done.
The Trust has just completed the installation of 162 replacement windows with the support of the community through a successful fund-raising campaign. The strategy is to have an energy-efficient building and to achieve that the new roof and windows are well insulated and 30Kwp of lightweight solar panels have been installed on the new roof. 60Kwh of batteries will be added soon.
Working In Partnership with the Prince's Foundation
In early 2019 the Trust was honoured when Fleetwood Hospital was chosen as one of 7 projects to celebrate the 70th birthday of HRH The Prince of Wales, his choice for the north-west. The project is supported by The Prince’s Foundation, working on the design of the large ground floor space (22,000sq feet) which will house the community hub. An initial concept has been agreed
with the Trust.
Work is underway to remove water damaged ceilings throughout the building and strip out the old wiring, plumbing and ventilation ducts.
The Trust has just received significant new funding of £300,000 with an extra £250,000 guaranteed early in 2020. This gives us the opportunity to complete the restoration of the exterior, including a new 3-storey atrium on the main entrance, install a new energy-efficient, combined heat & power (CHP) unit and install the 60Kwh of batteries.
In the first quarter of 2020 the Trust will have completely refurbished the external areas of the building, it will be attractive and well lit. All the old redundant equipment will have been removed and a new energy-efficient power source will be in place this will enable the project to move forward to the development of the internal areas.
The Vision For Fleetwood Hospital
Fleetwood Trust is committed to listening to and responding to the needs of the community throughout the planning, redevelopment and operational phases of the project. Among the aspects being considered and likely to form part of the completed project are provision for:
32 Bed Intermediate Care Ward operated by the NHS – patients leaving Victoria Hospital but not well enough to go home
Community Kitchen and Dining space – Meals, Food Bank, Cooking Lessons etc
Community Space – where all are welcome simply to be and connect with others in the community.
Quiet Space / Chapel / Reading Rooms
Job Seeking Support – CV, Interview skills, clothes supply, showers
Financial Support – Benefits, Budgeting, Mortgages, Debt etc
Life Skills – DIY, Landlords / Leases etc
Activity Space – Gym, Art, Dance, Yoga, Games etc
Meeting Rooms – for many purposes to assist people or where any organisation can meet
Business Incubator- where entrepreneurs in the town can develop and establish new businesses that will create jobs