Ashby company breathes new life into 19th century hospital site
The CIAT Registered Practice, David Granger Architectural Design Limited has moved into new offices in what was formerly Ashby Hospital, a building that dates back to 1897. The hospital controversially closed in 2014 when the NHS West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group deemed it ‘not fit for purpose’.
When the NHS sold the site, residents feared that the hospital would be demolished with new housing built in its place. However, the practice kept the original features of the site while converting the 19th century structure into modern office space.
 The renovation process
The derelict hospital was purchased by local developer Lychgate Homes in 2017. They worked closely with David Granger Design to convert the building into their new offices, as they had outgrown their home in Packington.
Work began in 2018, removing the large and inappropriate single-storey extensions from the rear that had been added in the 1950s. In their place, Lychgate built four new homes as well as creating parking for the new offices.
 Boosting a landmark and a career
David Granger, the company’s managing director and Chartered Architectural Technologist, hopes their work in reviving the Old Cottage Hospital will see it remain as an Ashby de la Zouch landmark for many years to come.
The £500,000 project, completed over an 18-month period, also represents a new chapter in business for David who started out on his own in a spare room in Coalville nearly 35 years ago. The company has grown from small beginnings when he first decided to go it alone.
“I had to tell my father-in-law what I was doing, and he told me to give it a year and if it wasn’t working then I had to go back and get a job,” recalled David.
“It had been standing idle for seven years, but we’ve breathed new life into it.
 Ashby and beyond
David Granger Design has been involved in a number of prestigious projects throughout Leicestershire and beyond. Towards the end of 2019, the company attended the ‘Good Design for North West Leicestershire: Ten Years on’ awards event.
The purpose of the event was to present awards to some Commended Developments as well as making a ‘People’s Choice Award’. The company received four awards for projects in Ashby de la Zouch, Whitwick and Breedon.
The company is keen to be involved with Ashby and its community. To that end David Granger Design is looking to form a close relationship with Ashby School. The Old Cottage Hospital building is situated in between the school’s two sites with around 1,600 pupils passing by several times each day.
In addition, all the staff are currently raising funds for a new defibrillator, suitable for use on adults and young children alike which will be positioned externally on the building. This is something that seems particularly relevant given the original purpose of the building and the recent campaign for public awareness of the importance of these machines and their availability within communities.
David Granger Architectural Design is committed to innovative architecture offering a friendly and professional service designing new builds, extensions, barn conversions, commercial buildings, housing developments and change of use applications throughout Leicestershire and the East Midlands.
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