The Hesketh Centre in Southport, which served as a mental health facility until its closure in 2020, is to go up for auction this month with a guide price of £750,000.

Auctioneer Pugh will include the 58,000 sq ft Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust-owned property, together with its adjoining residential accommodation and 1.7-acre grounds among the 100-plus lots in its 17 July online property auction.

The former hospital, on Albert Road and Park Road West near Southport town centre, is being sold with a pre-application decision from Sefton Borough Council, indicating that it would grant planning consent for residential development on the prominent site.

Ed Feather from auction house Pugh said: “The pre-application advice letter from the local authority is really helpful and means that an investor or developer could acquire the Hesketh Centre in order to develop a residential scheme on the site with confidence.

“The council do state that they would not permit full demolition of the building without a ‘full justification’, so clearly any development would have to be to a design that was sympathetic to the historic local area. It would be wonderful for this former NHS facility to take on a new identity and a new positive role in the town, which a new housing scheme would certainly provide.”

He added: “The site is in a great location, surrounded by period residential properties and with the elegant Victorian Hesketh Park immediately opposite. Southport train station is less than a mile away, with a good service to both Liverpool and Preston.”

The Hesketh Centre closed in 2020 and was replaced by the new £20m Hartley Hospital on nearby Scarisbrick Road.

This month’s Pugh auction, which includes the former Southport NHS site, has new lots added daily and will be held on 17 July at