Inside abandoned hospital set to go up for auction

The Hesketh Centre, Southport
-Credit: (Image: Abandoned UK)


A date has been set for the auction of an abandoned mental health hospital, more than a year after it was announced it would be available to bid on.

The Hesketh Centre in Southport has been closed since 2020. It shut its doors for the last time after the new £20 million Hartley Hospital opened on the corner of Curzon Road and Scarisbrick New Road, just minutes away from the Hesketh Centre site.

Since then, the hospital has lain empty and unused, with it being announced in March last year that it would go to auction due to lack of interest in a sale. The auction, which opens on July 16 at 10am, is being hosted by Pugh & Co Auctions with a guide price of £750,000.

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The listing said: "A substantial freehold redevelopment opportunity comprising a former NHS building and associated grounds extending to a total site area of approximately 1.7 acres (0.7 hectares). Internally the existing accommodation extends to approximately 5,373 SqM (57,834 SqFt) and consists of the main former hospital building (51-55 Albert Road) and an adjoining residential property (18 Park Road West). The site benefits from a positive pre-application decision for residential development and is offered with vacant possession."

An old ward at the Hesketh Centre, Southport
An old ward at the Hesketh Centre, Southport -Credit:Abandoned UK

The site has been subject to a pre-application advice letter from Sefton Council dating back to February 2022 which states that, in principle, the building can be used for residential purposes, however full demolition of the building will be "resisted without proper justification".

Describing the location of the site, the auctioneers said: "The site is prominently located fronting onto the corner of Albert Road and Park Road West just a short walk from the variety of amenities and leisure facilities available in Southport. The immediate surrounding area is mainly residential comprising a number of larger style period properties with the delightful Hesketh Park being situated immediately opposite.

"Southport train station is less than 1 mile away and provides convenient access into Liverpool and Preston which sit 21 and 18 miles away respectively."

A room that looks as though it was used for teaching in the Hesketh Centre, Southport
A room that looks as though it was used for teaching in the Hesketh Centre, Southport -Credit:Abandoned UK

In 2022, Abandoned UK, a Facebook and YouTube page that goes to empty buildings posted a video of the centre on its page. During the video, the group explore the building in-depth, recording almost all aspects of the building.

They showed the secure rooms, left untouched since it was closed, as well as the wards that patients would stay on. The man recording the video also points out the number of items left behind, with beds, monitors and chairs all being left in the building.

The structure of the building was also noted, with traditional coving throughout the building showing the history of the health centre, with it being believed to have been first opened in 1903.

A Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “We can confirm the Hesketh Centre has been put up for auction as a surplus building in accordance with the NHS Estates code. The building was vacated in December 2019 when all our mental health inpatient services were moved to the state-of-the art facilities at Hartley Hospital because the Hesketh Centre was no longer fit for purpose.

“The Trust will put it through a formal marketing process to ensure we get full value from the public pound and funds are re-invested in our services and estate. Mersey Care remains committed to improving our estate buildings across our geographical footprint to allow clinical excellence, prevention and integration in our services.”

For more information about the listing, click here.

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