St Ives community group set to buy back the town's Edward Hain Hospital for £1million

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report

A community group says it has secured a deal with the NHS to buy back St Ives' old hospital.

The Edward Hain hospital shut in 2016 after NHS Kernow said it was no longer fit for purpose.

Now the Friends of Edward Hain have agreed to pay £1.02 million to turn the building into a health and wellbeing centre.

Lynne Isaacs, secretary of the fundraisers, says it has been an "emotional" day.

"It's been a long road to get here and I think when you're when you're going through that process, you have to believe you're going to get to the end. So when it happens, it's just amazing."

Health bosses had closed the hospital after a report said it posed a fire risk and it would be difficult to safely evacuate patients from the building.

Elizabeth Veal, who has been a long standing committee Member, says she was "devastated" when decision was made.

"Absolutely devastated because it was hub of the town. I mean, my husband came here to convalesce after he had an appendix out. Fishermen would come to take hooks out of their hands. And there's not a family in the town that hasn't been affected by the Edward Hain."

Now the building's future, group says there are a range of possible services being considered including physiotherapy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, a dental practice and mental health support.

The NHS said it would not comment on the sale while the process to buy the hospital is ongoing.

Captain Edward “Teddy” Hain was killed by shellfire at Gallipoli on November 11, 1915. Credit: Friends of Edward Hain Hospital

Who was Edward Hain?

It was more than a century ago when the hospital was first gifted to St Ives in memorial to Captain Edward Hain.

Captain Edward “Teddy” Hain was the only son of Sir Edward Hain, six-times mayor of St. Ives, MP from 1900– 1906, and generous benefactor of the town.

Sir Edward’s company, the Edward Hain Steamship Company, provided work for generations of St Ives families.

So to create a meaningful memorial to their only son which would also benefit the town, his parents decided to found a hospital. A building was bought, kitted out, and put in trust for the people of St. Ives. It opened in April, 1920.

Edward Hain's great-nephew Gerry O'Riordan joined the Friends of Edward Hain Hospital to celebrate today's news saying he too felt "very emotional" about the preservation of his family legacy.

"The Imperial War Museum listed [the hospital] as a war memorial because inside the building there is a photograph of Captain Edward Hain on horseback with a brass plaque on it saying that it's run in memory of Captain Edward Hain. So in the eyes of the Imperial War Museum, if nobody else, it is a war memorial."

The group says all three decendants of the Hain family support their mission to create the Edward Hain Centre. Credit: ITV News

After a string of fundraising campaigns and legacy donations from local family estates the campaigners are £70,000 short of the final target so have started a GoFundMe page to reach the final total.

A public meeting is being held at St Ives Theatre at 7pm on on 15th September to discuss further details.