The vicar of St Edmund’s church proposes building a hospital to serve this remote rural area. The monies are raised through subscriptions and donations to buy land on the Town Farm opposite the church, and pay the costs of construction.
In a special church service, the Bishop of Ipswich, attended by a marching band, opens the hospital.
Within 30 years of its opening, extensions are added as need for its services increase.
The NHS is created and the hospital is transferred to its ownership.
The NHS decides to close the hospital. The community sees the writing on the wall – sale to the highest bidder, demolition of an iconic civic building, and redevelopment as luxury housing.
SouthGen begins a two-year David vs Goliath campaign to regain control of the hospital.
SouthGen partners with Hastoe Housing Association to buy the hospital and redevelop it as a community hub and affordable housing.
SouthGen raises over a million pounds to pay its share of the costs through grants and a community share offer that generates a half a million pounds in community investment. The Old Hospital hub is now owned by 377 members. All profits from the hub are reinvested in the community.
The new design is by Modece Architects, pioneers in environmentally sustainable architecture, who coined the phrase ‘deep green architecture.’ The modern design sensitively nestles into the Arts and Crafts building and its surroundings – St Edmunds Church, its church yard and the modest Edwardian terraces.
The build was completed in May 2022. Since then hundreds of people have come through the Old Hospital Hub’s doors. The unanimous verdict is ‘It is beautiful and what our community needs’.