There’s a rumour circulating that the historic Mineral Water Hospital Building in Upper Borough Walls has been ‘sold-on’ by its original purchaser.
It was initially bought – in September 2017 – by Winchester-based property developer Frank Mountain – for an undisclosed sum, which is reckoned to be anywhere between 18 and 21 million pounds.
The NHS disposed of the building as a new unit for rheumatology is currently under construction at the RUH.
Mr Mountain has not answered my email but – in the meantime – Bath MP Wera Hobhouse is trying to maintain public access to the Grade 2 listed building – whoever owns it.
She is concerned that – as the price goes up – whoever develops the site will want to see a maximum return on his or her investment. That could mean high-value luxury flats for foreign investors.
She has been running a petition on her website to garner support for her stand – and has also been trying to get Sam Smiths Brewery – the owners of the old King Edward’s School building in Broad Street – to get on and develop that site as the building has stood derelict for too many years.
Bath Newseum has been talking to her.
I also asked the RUH for comment as to whether – a new owner might affect their current agreement to stay at the Min – until the end of 2019.
A spokesperson for the hospital told me : ‘The Trust has an agreement in place to continue to use the building until the new premises at the RUH are completed.’