After a four-year campaign, Ancoats Dispensary Trust today took formal ownership of the derelict Ancoats Dispensary building.
ADT signed the lease taking possession from developers Urban Splash.
The long-term aims of the trust are to raise funds to convert the building into a community wellbeing centre and affordable workspace for local creative businesses.
The 140-year old building served as a hospital before it fell into disrepair. It was opened in response to the effect the Industrial Revolution was having on the health of the local community.
Karen Houghton, ADT chief executive, thanked the local community. “Without the help and support of the people of Manchester, the trust wouldn’t have reached this crucial point,” she said.
The grade II-listed building had been earmarked for demolition but ADT raised enough in private donations to unlock £770,000 in Heritage Lottery funding earlier this year to pay for refurbishment.
Houghton was keen to stress that there was further work to do. “We still have a significant journey ahead, to raise more funds to deliver the design and the full restoration.”
“This is what the hard work over the last four years has been about; restoring the building and ensuring it continues to be an asset owned by the community for the community.”
Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, said “We are very pleased to have been working with Ancoats Dispensary Trust for the past 18 months and are glad they have been able to secure a good future for the building.”
Linda Carver ADT co-ordinator, added “We thank Urban Splash for agreeing to give the ADT time to apply for the funding to stabilise the Dispensary.”
Work will now commence to safeguard the building from falling into a worse state, while more fundraising continues.
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