Most of the Victorian mills, factories and warehouses in the area have been demolished or renovated into modern apartments or office spaces by developers ‘Urban Splash’. The building photographed here in May 2010, awaiting development, is the former Ancoats Hospital on Mill Street.
The hospital began life in 1828 as the Ardwick and Ancoats Dispensary on Great Ancoats Street. It moved to this building in Mill Street in 1869, built to serve the influx of people who came to the Ancoats area during Manchester’s industrial hey-day. The hospital finally closed its doors in 1996 and the dispensary building is the last remaining in the area.
Unfortunately, the developers have been unable to find either a new use or a buyer for it and so have made plans for its demolition. A report from the Manchester Evening News in January 2012 (Link
) indicates that The Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust has agreed to buy the Grade II-listed former hospital from Urban Splash for just £1. However, the building is in a poor state of repair and the Trust needs to raise £3m to bring it up to modern standards. A planned grant from the North West Development Agency is no longer available as the agency has been wound down by the government. So the building is not yet safe from the bulldozers.
update (via Gerald England) : A group, "Ancoats Dispensary Trust", was formed in 2012 Link
with the aim of saving the building. Gerald's photo SJ8598 : Ancoats Dispensary
taken in June 2014 shows the building to be in a sorry state with much to be done if it is to be saved.