The Government has said Northampton’s historic St Edmund’s Hospital building should never be demolished.
Earlier this year, an unknown organisation applied to English Heritage to remove the historic building’s listed status - leading to fears it could one day be demolished.
But now, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has said the listed status should not be removed, meaning the 176-year-old building in Wellingborough Road cannot be knocked down.
The move has been welcomed by officials at English Heritage, who advised the Government that the building should be protected for the future.
A spokesman for English Heritage said: “We’re pleased the Government has agreed with our recommendation to keep St Edmund’s Hospital in Northampton on the statutory List.
“Built in 1836-7, it was one of the first generation of New Poor Law workhouses, designed by the eminent Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott, and it represents a key moment in changing social attitudes towards the provision made for the poor and destitute. “
The main hospital building has stood derelict since 1999 despite a Tesco and a restaurant being built on neighbouring parts of the former hospital site.
Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Tim Hadland (Con, Old Duston) said the authority would now work with the site’s owners to get the hospital redeveloped.
He said: “We welcome the decision of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to retain St Edmund’s Hospital on the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.
“Owning a listed building comes with a duty to protect it, so we will continue to talk with the landowners about their plans and how they can bring the site back into use.”
St Edmund’s Hospital was built in 1836 as a workhouse and was converted into a hospital in the 1930s, before closing in 1999.
It was designed by world famous architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, who went on to create both the Albert Memorial in London and the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Satation.