HAVANT’S War Memorial Hospital has been bought and will be turned into a care home.
The NHS has sold the 83-year-old hospital to a developer which wants to convert the building into a care unit for people with dementia.
The building in Cross Way went on the market for £750,000 when the hospital closed last September.
The news has been welcomed across the community as the hospital is seen as a key part of Havant’s heritage.
It was originally paid for by the people of Havant through a massive fundraising drive in the 1920s.
It opened in 1929 in memory to all those who died during the First World War.
There were concerns the building would be bulldozed to make way for housing.
Deputy leader of Havant Borough Council David Guest said: ‘I’m pleased they have found an appropriate use for the building and it will continue its legacy of giving medical care.
‘It’s a very important building and part of our heritage.
‘I would like to see it maintained in its present form, although it will probably need to be adapted for its new use.’
County Councillor Ann Buckley, who represents Leigh Park and Bedhampton, told The News: ‘Everyone hoped the hospital would continue to be used as a facility connected to health needs, so it is very good news that the building will be used as a care home for people with dementia.’
NHS Hampshire has been in talks with Pinecourt Ltd for several months and all contracts have been exchanged.
The amount the building was sold for was unavailable yesterday.
No-one from Pinecourt Ltd was available for comment but Inger Hebden, director of capital planning at NHS Hampshire, said the building was to become a dementia unit.
She said: ‘It’s good news because it’s more health provision.’
Community leaders said they wanted the foundation stone of the building to remain intact.
The Royal Doulton tiles from the old children’s ward have now been removed and are being restored to be put on display at The Spring.
Cash from the sale will help pay for Havant’s new £3.7m Oak Park Community Clinic.
The facility, in Lavant Drive, is under construction and will open by the end of the year.