New hospital heritage group to hold meeting

Members of a new action group set up to protect the Old Dispensary and hermitage at Pontefract Hospital
Members of a new action group set up to protect the Old Dispensary and hermitage at Pontefract Hospital

A new community group has launched to protect the future of Pontefract Hospital’s old dispensary and the hermitage which lies beneath it.

Pontefract Dispensary and Hermitage Action Group plans to hold a public meeting next week as part of its bid to secure the building for the future.

The dispensary was opened in 1880 and acquired by the NHS when it was formed in 1948, but has not been used following the construction of the new Pontefract Hospital.

It also holds the access to the hermitage, which was founded in 1386 and is English Heritage Grade I listed. It has experienced problems with flooding since the construction of the new hospital.

Colin White, group chairman, said: “The building is owned by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and we have approached it and asked to set up a meeting. We feel that a building like that ought to be of community benefit.”

The group wants more people to get involved in the group and help come up with ideas for its potential future use.

It is holding a public meeting at Central Methodist Church, Newgate, Pontefract, on Friday March 8 at 7pm. Contact pdhag1880@gmail.com or visit www.pontefractdispensaryhermitageactiongroup.btck.co.uk to find out more.

Iain Brodie, head of facilities at the trust, said: “We have regularly met with the Hermitage Group and have extended an invitation to meet with the new Pontefract Dispensary and Hermitage Action Group.

“We are keen to support the future of this important part of Pontefract’s heritage.”