Plymouth University

Visit from the University of Plymouth

Educational Links

One of the Trust’s objectives is to build close links with West Country universities, colleges and schools in order to establish a role for the former Winsford Cottage Hospital as a valuable educational resource.

On 29 February we were pleased to welcome a party of postgraduate students from the University of Plymouth, who are working for their MA degrees in Architectural Conservation.

Sustainable Development

Their practical exercise for the day was to examine the building and then propose sustainable future uses for it.
Identifying a sustainable use is an essential prerequisite for securing funding for repair and restoration. No one will offer funds for major repairs if it is not clear that there is enough income to maintain it in good repair afterwards.

After an introductory presentation from Dr Ray Ward, Vice Chair of the Trustees, and Daniella Coughlin, the Centre Manager, the students divided into four groups and, with guidance from Ray and Daniella, spent several hours in detailed exploration of the building inside and out, even venturing into the cavernous roof spaces.

Architectural Heritage

The groups then came together to share their thoughts on what the future use of the building might be, given its importance as part of the nation’s architectural heritage and the design and layout imposed by its original role as a hospital. Ray and Daniella listened in to what turned out to be a well informed and thoughtful discussion which ranged over many of the issues that have engaged the Trust’s Board in recent times.

It was good to have these views from a genuinely independent body of people and, thankfully, the consensus was that the paths we are currently exploring are the most likely to lead to the goal of a sustainable use.

We look forward to future visits as our visitors were keen to follow the progress of the Restoration Project.